Skip to main content

Full text of "The Indian saint : or, Buddha and Buddhism: a sketch, historical and critical"

See other formats





Lt. Col. George White 











Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by 

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


The following pages have been written in a feeling of 
cordial interest, indeed of love and admiration for the 
historical character they seek in some degree to present, 
and an earnest desire to render both to him and the 
faith that has flowed from his thought and life while 
abstaining utterly, if possible, from any bias or partiality 
equal and exact justice. How far, if at all, this desire 
may have become realization, it must be for the intel- 
ligent reader to decide. 

It is difficult, very difficult, to penetrate the spirit and 
genius of a faith so remote, and in many respects foreign 
to our own, to interpret it, take its measure justly, weigh 
it well. Still more difficult, perhaps, to one who should 
have outgrown, in some degree at least, as is hoped, 
the Christian limitation, to preserve still the perfect poise, 
to escape prepossession on the other side, and draw the 
picture without a shade of flattery. 

The writing of these pages was done for the most 
part nearly four years since. Various circumstances, not 
necessary here to name, have conspired to prevent an 
earlier publication. Within this intervening time, import- 
ant contributions upon the Eastern religions have been 
made, both in this country and Europe, and the horizon 


iv . PREFACE. 

of view has constantly been widening. In particular, the 
work of Mr. Samuel Johnson, {Oriental Religions, Boston, 
1872), deserves very cordial and honorable mention. Im- 
pressed with so broad and catholic a spirit, so kindly, so 
generous even, in its hospitality to Eastern thought, so 
careful in research and affluent in learning, so superior 
in insight and discrimination, so richly and deeply sug- 
gestive, it certainly marks, if it does not make, an epoch 
in these studies. It would seem to leave little to be 
desired further upon the themes it treats. 

But the field is large, and there is room yet for 
many reapers and gleaners. Long time it must be ere 
the sheaves shall all have been gathered ; long time 
indeed ere the last word shall have been spoken, and 
the final judgment made 'up, upon this or any other of 
the great historic faiths. 

The present moment is opportune. The night is 
far spent, and the day is at hand. We are outgrowing 
the Jewish narrowness that has from the beginning been 
upon all Christendom the worship of exclusive claims, 
of dispensation and of person. We are to study all 
religions in the light of the universal, to measure all, 
our own included, against the standard of the absolute. 
Of the enlargements that shall thereby come, the 
farthest seeing at present, can form no fitting concep- 
tion. The old hymn will take on new breadth of 
meaning, and the lines be sung 

" Let party names no more 
The human world o'erspread ;" 


the new Jerusalem shall descend from God out of 
Heaven, and the church of Humanity be inaugurated. 
All the fragments shall be gathered up, there shall be 
genuine recognition of the divine in history, respect 
and appreciation everywhere, but idolatry nowhere. 
The soul, leaving every weight behind, shall urge ever 
on and on toward the infinite goal. 

In the hope that it may in some slight degree aid 
to open the way for that bright consummation, this 
little volume is sent forth. It is doubtless very partial 
and incomplete, marked and perhaps marred with many 
deficiencies. If it shall serve in any measure to illus- 
trate the subject it seeks to present, if it shall avail 
at all to incite and quicken, to enlarge the horizon 
and exalt the tone of life, its ambitions will have 
,been fulfilled. 

SYRACUSE, N. Y., Dec. 15111, 1875. 

















IN the Eastern world to-day there bow untold millions 
of devout worshipers before Buddha ; * his statues 
are in the temples, his adoration is celebrated with 
incense of sandal-wood and odors of flowers, his 
birth-place and theatre of action is the holy land of 
the church of believers, and immense topes in India 
have been erected over his real or supposed relics. 
The vast vihdras or monasteries, built in the olden 
time, have been thronged with monks eager to learn 
the law, and the successors of them still stand in 
Ceylon, Birmah, Thibet, Mongolia, China and Japan. 
No other name is held in such reverence ; Buddha. 
is the incarnation, the great messenger from the 
heavens to men, his word is the supreme gospel, the 

* Koeppen, Religion des Buddha, L, p. 12 1, estimates the number 
at about one-third the entire population of the globe. The same, or 
about the same, Fausboll, Bigandet, Berghaus and Prof. Neumann. 


way of salvation for all. No other faith has had 
such a following, none ever spread so quickly so 
far, or kept for itself stronger hold upon the popular 

For about twenty-four centuries now this relig- 
ion has been current ; albeit expelled from the land 
of its birth it has wide prevalence in Central and 
Eastern Asia, and gives thus far no sign, to outward 
seeming, of any dissolution or decay. By the Pacific 
wave it is borne to our own coast, and we are 
brought thus face to face with it perhaps under one 
of its coarser and more degenerate types, as one of 
the practical problems of our time. 

It is a phenomenon certainly well worth our 
study. We have before us, beyond question, the 
effect of a powerful personality in history ; a wave 
upon the ocean of mind, far extending, and yet 
unspent. Mr. Beal, who personally has studied it 
upon Chinese soil, describes it, viewing it, too, from 
the stand-point of orthodox Christianity ^ as "one 
of the most wonderful ' movements of the human 
mind in the direction of Spiritual Truth." We 
ought to be in condition to look at this fact fairly, 
to read it truly, with a fine appreciation, as well as 
just critical rigor. 

Who was this Buddha, what is the measure of his 
claim, what his place comparatively among the great 


saints and benefactors of the world ? What was 
the magnetic charm of that presence and word that 
seems to have ravished so many souls, and to have 
left such deep and lasting impress upon the Eastern 
peoples? What was the quality of his thought and 
style of his life, and how shall he stand, permanently, 
in history? These questions are to have some day 
full answer. 

Myth and legend cover also this history, cover it, 
indeed, as almost no other that we know. The 
Eastern mind speaks characteristically in hyperbole 
and figure, and in this case so has the imagination 
been wrought upon and intoxicated it has overlaid 
the reality with the sports and extravagances of 
fancy, almost too deep for possible recover)'. It is 
often exceedingly difficult, and sometimes utterly 
impracticable to separate the fact from the myth, or, 
rather, to know how much and what is the fact, 
behind the myth. There are things which nice, 
careful critics would promptly dismiss as purely 
mythic, and which, nevertheless, it is not hard to 
see, have true historic ground and a fine significance. 

Gautama Buddha, called afterward also Sakya- 
Muni the monk or hermit of the Sakyas was born 
in the northern part of India, a little north of what 
is now the province of Oude, probably in the earlier 


half of the sixth century before Christ. There is 
very wide difference in the dates given from different 
sources here. The Thibetans themselves have as 
many as fourteen, ranging in the extreme limits 
nearly 2,000 years apart. But the Chinese and Thi- 
betans generally fix the death at not far from 1,000 
B. C. ; the Chronicle of Cashmere considerably earlier ; 
the Singhalese, with much unanimity, at 543 B. C. 
But Max Miiller* affirms there are good grounds for 
setting it at 477 B. C, and as Buddha is commonly 
reputed to have lived seventy-nine years, this would fix 
his birth at about 556 B. C. There is, however, noto- 
riously great dimness and uncertainty which is essen- 
tially increased in this instance by special causes over- 
hanging Indian chronology in the early times, and 
probably we are able to attain here, at best, but an 
approximation, f The name of the town was Kapila- 
vastu, J capital of a small kingdom of the same name, 
and his father, Suddhodana ' ' living upon clean 
food " was the king, described as a man of distin- 
guished bravery and integrity. He belonged by this 
descent to the Sakyas, and these came of the great 

* Chips, I., p. 206. See also Bigandet, p. 319, note. 

f See Koeppen, L, pp. 118, 119. 

| Kapilavastu was in the eastern part of the province of Kosala, 
and a little north of the Gorackpur of the present day. It was on a 
stream, Rohini, which near Gorackpur empties into the Rapti. 


Solar race, a race very famous in the early annals 
of India.* His mother, Mayadevi, was distinguished 
above all women of her time, for her physical beauty, 
a beauty so ravishing to the eye that she bore famil- 
iarly the name Maya, "illusion ; " distinguished, withal, 
still more for her high qualities of soul. She died 
seven days after the birth of her son, and he- was 
confided for rearing to the care of a maternal aunt.f 
There was also a miraculous conception in this 
relation. According to some of the accounts his 
mother was a virgin, and he was begotten without 
human intervention ; as a beam of light he entered 
the womb of Mayadevi. His conception, his growth 

* Beal, however, advances, the opinion that he was of Scythian 
descent. A branch or clan of this race, he thinks, may have pene- 
trated Northern India, as another did Assyria about this time, and 
Buddha was born of this blood, a descendant of the Chakravarttins or 
Wheel Kings, i. e,, universal monarchs. Sakya's directions as to the 
funeral obsequies to be observed after his death, the cremation of the 
body, and the subsequent erection of mounds, or topes, in such num- 
bers over India, all, he deems, indicate a foreign parentage for this 
saint. See his Catena, pp. 128, 129. But this of the directions is very 
probably a subsequent invention ; it certainly comports little with his 
known character, and especially with the light esteem, almost the 
contempt, in which he is represented to have held the body. The 
weight of the evidence seems altogether in favor of the view that he 
was of the Aryan race and family of the Sakyas. 

t The incarnation and the birth are both represented in the sculp- 
tures found upon the remains of the ancient temple at Sanchi. See 
Fergusson's Tree and Serpent Worship, plates xxxiii. and Ixv. 



and birth were without taint of human impurity or 

It is worthy of note, in passing, that this seems 
to have been a fruitful epoch, productive of supe- 
rior, genuinely great men. Confucius in China, 
and Pythagoras in Greece (Magna Graecia), both 
teachers of broad and universal quality, were cotem- 
porary with Buddha. Xenophanes and, following 
him, the Eleatic school came about the same time ; 
also Heraclitus. A little earlier was Lao Tsze, a 
sage more exalted perhaps than Confucius, and cotem- 
porary with him was Thales. 

In true Oriental style we are told what attention 
this advent excited in the world of the gods, and 
what marvels it wrought in the house and kingdom 
of Suddhodana. The palace swept itself clean, all the 
birds of Himavat assembled, testifying their joy in 
song; the gardens bloomed with flowers and the 
ponds filled with the lotus ; scented waters flowed ; 
meats of all kinds covered the tables, and although 
partaken freely of, knew no diminution ; instruments 
of music, without touch of hand, played, giving forth 
the finest melodies; caskets of jewels sprang open, 
displaying of their own accord their treasures, and 
finally the palace was irradiated with an unearthly 
splendor, that eclipsed that of the sun and moon. 
Gods and goddesses came to pay their adoration before 


him while he was in the womb of Mayadevi, and Indra 
and Brahma, chiefs of the gods, descended to receive 
the new-born child in the garden of Lumbini, and 
performed for him those offices usually done to the 
new-born. The old Brahman Asita, dwelling in Him- 
avat, came down to greet the child, read upon his 
person the thirty-two primary and the eighty secondary 
marks of the great man, and predicted to the father 
that this was to be the Buddha. For himself, he 
grieved that the old age that was already upon him, 
would not permit him to hear that fine instruction 
in the law that was to come. 

In due time the child was presented in the temple 
of the gods. All the images started from their seats 
and prostrated themselves before him, and sang chants 
in his praise. He grew up a boy of surpassing beauty 
and of the most extraordinary parts. Placed in the 
schools of writing, he soon was superior to his 
masters, and one of them, Visvamitra, frankly owned 
he had no more he could teach him. He was 
pensive, reticent, took little part in the sports of his 
mates, and used frequently to retire by himself into 
solitudes, where he seemed lost in meditation. One 
day, going out with his companions for an excursion 
to a neighboring village, he quietly withdrew alone 
into the shadows of a deep forest, where he remained 
a long while. His continued absence occasioned 


great anxiety to his friends, and a careful search 
was .instituted, in which the king, his father, took 
part. They found him sitting under the shade of a 
bamboo tree, rapt and lost in his thoughts. 

The tendency in him to withdrawal and solitary 
reverie gave pain to the courtiers and all his kin- 
dred ; it was feared the royal family would some 
day be without issue, and the throne without an 
occupant. So it was determined that the young man 
should marry, and it was hoped that in the attrac- 
tions of family he might be beguiled from his apparent 
purpose. He demanded seven days for reflection, 
and at last feeling sure of himself, sure that mar- 
riage could not take from him the calmness of 
thought, nor leisure for meditation, he consented. 
He imposed certain imperative conditions. The 
woman for him must not be a frivolous creature, 
without sobriety or possession. It little signified tor 
the rest what should be her caste. She might 
belong to the Vaisyas or the Sudras, equally well 
as to the Brahmans or Kshatriyas, only she must 
be endowed with womanly qualities, such as were 
to be desired in a companion. Such an one at 
length was found ; it was in the person of the beau- 
tiful Gopa, of the family of Sakyas, daughter of 

But to this union the father objected. He could 


not surrender his daughter to a young man, prince 
though he were, who had the repute of being rather 
a dreamer, and deficient in manly qualities. A con- 
test was instituted ; among five hundred of the young 
Sakyas assembled. Gopa was promised to the one 
who should excel all the others in certain athletic 
performance. Gautama easily lead them all in every- 
thing ; he was the best swimmer, runner, leaper, 
archer, albeit he had never before practised 'any of 
these arts. The archery was certainly good, for we 
are told that he split with his arrow a hair at the 
distance of ten miles, though at the time it was 
dark as night.* Hardly could any one of the young 
Sakyas hope to do better. 

He did more. He went into feats of mind, 
showed himself more proficient than the judges even, 
in writing, arithmetic, logic, knowledge of the Vedas, 
philosophy, etc. Dandapani cordially now yielded his 
consent, and the marriage took place. The union 
was of the happiest, a true fellowship, a church of 
saints. Gautama's age, it is said, was sixteen years 
when he was married to Gopa. 

But there was in this young man a want that 
no companionship of wife or dearest friend could 
supply, thoughts that knew only solitude, that visited 

* Hardy's Legends and Theories of the Buddhists, p. 139. 


and gave him communion but in retirement from 
all outward and seen. There were unanswered ques- 
tions that haunted, present everywhere by night and 
by day, subtle, vital, that he must take life-long 
perhaps to ponder. The prince was still pensive, 
abode much by himself; the gayety of society and 
the splendors of the court pleased, but they did not 
fill or captivate him. Evidently he had not been 
diverted from the early bias he had shown, and 
which had given such uneasiness to his friends. 

"What is our life," he was wont to revolve with 
himself, "whence is it and whither? It is like an 
echo, a dream, the note of a lute, the lightning that 
flashes for an instant, and is gone ; none can tell 
whence it came or whither it goes. All is instabil- 
ity, change, a ceaseless motion, is naught. But there 
must be substance somewhere, some reality wherein 
is duration and rest. If I could know and attain 
that, I could bring light to man ; free myself, I could 
deliver the world. I could show them the sure 
gate of immortality. Withdrawn from the thoughts 
born of the senses and beset with pain and unrest, 
1 would establish them in repose. In making those 
who are enveloped in deepest ignorance see the 
clear light of the law, I should give them that fine 
vision that reads all things, that ray of pure wisdom 
that has no blemish or decay." 

THE LIFE. 1 9 

Three incidents, of a kind the most ordinary and 
unnoticed in the experience of men generally, hap- 
pening in his experience were most fruitful in results. 
One day, starting from the eastern gate of the city 
with a numerous retinue for a ride to the garden 
of Lumbini, a place endeared to him by many most 
sacred associations, he met upon the way an aged 
man. He was broken, decrepit, covered with wrin- 
kles, his head was white, the veins and muscles 
stood prominent over his body, his teeth chattered ; 
leaning upon his staff he tottered, scarcely able to 
walk. ' ' Who is this man ? " he asked of the coach- 
man. "He is small and weak, his flesh and his 
blood are dried up, his muscles stick to his skin, 
his body is wasted away, he trembles at every step. 
Is this some peculiar condition of his family, or is 
it the common lot of all created beings ? " 

"Sir," replied the coachman, "this man is borne 
down by old age, all his senses are enfeebled, suf- 
fering has destroyed his strength, he is despised by rfis 
relations ; without support and incapable of anything^ 
he is abandoned, like the dead tree in the forest. 
But this is no special condition of his family. In 
every creature youth is overcome by old age. Your 
father, your mother, all your kindred and friends, 
shall come to the same state, there is no other end 
for living beings. '' 


"Alas then," answered the prince, "are creatures 
so weak, so ignorant and foolish as to be proud 
of the youth that intoxicates them, not seeing the 
old age that awaits? For myself, I will away. Coach- 
man, turn my chariot quickly. I, the future prey 
of old age, what have I to do with pleasure or 
joy?" And, turning back, he reentered the city. 

Another day, going out as before, he met a sick 
man, a poor wretch suffering with fever, consumed 
by the quenchless fire, homeless and friendless, dy- 
ing in destitution and filth. And again he met a 
corpse upon a bier, borne by weeping friends, for the 
tomb. He interrogated his coachman, and learned 
that these too were under the lot of humanity, and 
was affected to deepest sadness. He returned to his 
home, and would go no more in pursuit of pleasure. 
Once again he met a bhikshu, a mendicant. He inter- 
rogated his coachman, and was answered, "This man 
has renounced all pleasures, all desires, and leads a 
life of severe austerity. He tries to conquer himself. 
He has become a devotee. Without passion and 
without envy he goes about, seeking alms." 

"Well said," replied the prince; "the life of a 
devotee has always been praised by the wise. It 
shall be my refuge and the refuge of other crea- 
tures ; it will lead us to a real life, to happiness 
and immortality." 


His resolution was taken. Gopa, his wife, was 
the first to whom he imparted the choice secret. 
One night she awoke in terror from a bad dream, 
and asked Gautama for an explanation. He opened 
to her freely his purpose, sympathized with her grief, 
and^ was able for the time to console her in good 
degree for her loss. Then, filled with filial respect 
and spirit of submission, he sought the same night 
the bed-side of his father, told him frankly all and 
begged to be permitted to depart in peace. The 
father, with eyes filled with tears, besought him to 
change his determination. Naught that utmost wish 
could desire should be withheld from him, the pal- 
ace, kingdom, servants, the king himself all should 
be laid at his feet. But nothing of this could 
avail with the prince. "Give me," said he, "that 
I may know the method of exemption from old 
age, disease, death, or give me at least that I shall 
know no transmigration in the world beyond, and I 
will cheerfully remain with thee ever." The king 
confessed that this was utterly beyond his power ; all 
were subject to that condition ; even the Rishis, in 
the midst of the Kalpa in which they live,* are not 
exempt from the dread of age. 

* The duration of a Kalpa is indicated in this way : ' Take a rock 
forming a cube of about fourteen miles, touch it once in a hundred 
years with a piece of fine cloth, and the rock will sooner be reduced 


The king saw that it was of no avail whatever 
to attempt to dissuade this youth from his purpose, 
but he resolved, if possible, to keep him at home, 
to prevent his escape. The gates of the city were 
watched, guards were set all about the town, and 
Suddhodana himself, with five hundred young Sakyas, 
watched at the gate of the palace. But it was all 
in vain. One night when the guards, weary, were 
fast asleep, the prince ordered his coachman Tchan- 
daka to saddle his horse, for his hour was come. 
The faithful coachman, in tears, made one last 
appeal, begging him not to sacrifice himself thus," 
his youth and beauty and fine position for the 
poor life of a devotee. It was an empty word for 
those ears. ' ' Shunned by the wise, like the fangs 
of a serpent, cast out like an unclean vessel, the 
desires, Tchandaka, as I but too well know, are 
the ruin of all virtue. Let a torrent of thunder- 
bolts, of arrows, flaming swords, like the vivid light- 
nings, or the burning summit of the volcano, sooner 
fall upon and overwhelm me, than that I be born 
again with the desire of house."* 

to dust than a kalpa will have attained its end." M. Mtiller, Lectttre 
on Buddhist Nihilism, p. 8. 

* Another account has it that at this point Mara, the tempter, 
appeared and promised him the kingdom of the world, if he would 
renounce his design and remain. " But the offer was as repugnant 


Unobserved by any, he left the city at the hour 
of midnight,* and the star Pushya, that had presided 
at his birth, rose at this moment above the horizon. 
He turned to cast a last look upon the palace and 
the town, and touched with a deep tenderness he 
said, sweetly, " Never shall I return again to this 
city of Kapila, until I shall have attained the ces- 
sation of birth and death, exemption from old age 
and decay, and reached the pure intelligence." He 
was not to visit this home again until twelve years 
afterward, when he came there to preach the new 
faith. Together they travelled all the night, and at 
day-break were twelve leagues away. Gautama 
alighted, dismissed his coachman homeward with his 
horse, and the costly ornaments that he took from 

to those ears as would have been the attempt to pierce them with 
glowing iron." Koeppen, I., p. 82. 

* Some of the legends have it that the departure took place on 
the night after the birth of his child. Standing upon the threshold ot 
the door, he saw the princess sleeping, with her hand placed over the 
head of the infant. He wished to remove the hand, that he might 
look into the little face, but fearing that he might thereby awaken 
the mother, and his resolution in consequence be weakened, it not 
destroyed, he refrained. Gazing for a moment from the threshold, 
with what thoughts we can well imagine, he turned away and left 
family and court forever. "After having become Buddha," he said, 
"I will see the child." This boy was named Rahula, and we hear 
of him afterward as one among the followers of the saint. 

See Spence Hardy, Eastern Monachism, p. 3 ; also Bishop 
Bigandet's Legend of Gaudama, pp. 53-57. 


his person, henceforth without use for him. The 
horse Kantaka, born upon the same moment with 
Sakya, we read, was so strongly attached to his 
master that he shed tears upon the separation,* and 
some accounts have it that his heart burst and he 
died on the spot.f A monument was afterward 
erected at the place where the coachman turned 
.back, and Hiouen Thsang, the Chinese pilgrim, in 
the seventh century of our era, reports that he found 
it yet standing. Gautama is said to have been about 
twenty-nine years old at the time of this Hegira.J 
Soon as the escape was discovered, the palace was 
all in commotion. Swift messengers were sent in 
ever} 7 direction, with strict orders at every hazard to 
bring back the prince. But they did not find him. 
Some of them met Tchandaka, who told them of 
the circumstances of the flight, and earnestly pro- 
tested that his master would never be brought back 
alive. It remained but to return and report all at 
the court. Gopa was filled with deepest sorrow, for, 
somewhat prepared as she had been for this departure, 

* This also is represented in the sculptures referred to. See Fer- 
gusson, Tree and Ser petit Worship^ pi. lix. 

t Bigandet, p. 61. 

% Some accounts make it the twentieth or twenty-first year, but 
the nearly unanimous testimony is for the age given above. 


it came as a shock to her that no most kindly con- 
solements could relieve. 

Gautama, left alone, set to work now to prepare 
himself for his undertaking. With his sword he cut 
off the Icng locks he had worn as symbol of his 
caste, and threw them to the wind. His garments, 
rich, of the finest silk of Benares, he exchanged 
with a hunter whom he met, for his single garment 
made of a stag's skin of yellow color. The hunter 
accepted the trade with a measure of embarrasment, 
for he perceived readily that he was dealing with 
some very superior person. The prince sought and 
was kindl/ received by the Brahmans, with whom 
and their adherents the forests seem to have been 
filled. Near the city of Vaisali * he found Arata 
Kalama, a Brahman of great repute, who had about, 
him three hundred disciples. The arrival of this, 
young man, with his extraordinary antecedents, caused 
great attention. He was of surpassing beauty of 
person, and when he spoke, his wordsWere wisdom. 
Kalama was struck by his superiority, and though 
he had applied for admission as a pupil, the mas- 
ter besought him to remain as colleague, sharing 

* Vaisali, a few leagues north of Patna ot the present day. 
According to Major Cunningham the ruins are still to be seen. The 
Bhilsa Topes, p. 29. 

2 6 BUDDHA. 

with him the work of instruction. But the thought- 
ful youth did not find here what satisfied his need. 
Frankly he said, "This doctrine conducts not to the 
true deliverance. But," he added, with himself, "by 
completing it, since it inculcates the subjugation of 
the senses, I may come to the final liberation. But 
it needs study, patient, continuous labor to perfect it." 
From Vaisali he went to Rajagriha,* the capital 
of Magadha, the present Behar. The story of his 
extraordinary appearance and character had preceded 
him, and the multitude, struck with the self-abnega- 
tion and personal beauty, filled all the streets as he 
passed. Business was suspended, for, that day, the 
legend tells us, "they ceased from their buying and 
their selling, and even from the drinking of liquors 
and of wine, to view the noble mendicant that was 
asking alms." The king Bimbisara, who was of 
about the same age, and between whose father and 
Suddhodana there had always been an intimate 
friendship, observed him closely, visited him in his 
retreat, and "charmed with his discourse, at once 
so exalted and so simple, his magnanimity and his 
integrity," became his fast friend and protector, and 
afterward joined the congregation. But his most 

* Rljagriha, about forty miles south-east of rauia, and sixteen 
mihs south-west of Behar (tbe town). 


2 7 

flattering offers could not tempt the young devotee 
to remain ; he had other work to do, and so he 
retired into deep solitudes, far from the observation 
and noise of the crowd. 

There was in the neighborhood of Rajagriha a 
Brahman still more celebrated than he of Vaisali, 
Rudraka by name. He had a reputation unequaled 
as a teacher, both among the vulgar and the learned, 
and held about him a school of seven hundred dis- 
ciples. Gautama sought him, asking admission as a 
pupil. But Rudraka, after a little acquaintance, 
offered, as had Arata, to give him equal place with 
himself. "Together," said he, 'Met us teach our 
doctrine to this multitude." But neither here could 
he remain. "Friend/' said Gautama, "this road 
leads not to indifference toward the objects of this 
world, leads not to conquest, serenity, perfect wis- 
dom, leads not to Nirvana." He withdrew, and five 
of his fellow pupils followed him. 

In the forests of Uruvilva* they remained, prac- 
ticing together for years the severest Brahmanic aus- 
terities. Gautama welcomed in this time, it is said, 
tests and trials that would have appalled the gods. 
What conflicts he sustained, battles with the most 

* Uruvilv^ was a village on the banks of the present Nilajan, a 
tributary of the Phalgu river. 


formidable demons ! They tried their worst upon 
him, and in every instance were vanquished ; broken 
and discomfited, were driven back to their haunts. 
In Oriental fashion we are told of these conflicts, 
personal ones with demons. In the midst of his 
severe penances, one day, Mayadevi, alarmed for the 
life of her son, left Tushita, the heavenly abode, and 
came down to implore him to cease from this ex- 
cessive self-mortification. He consoles his mother, 
but yields not. Then Mara, the Evil One, essays 
to overcome him, and approaches with soft words of 
flattery. "Dear one, it is necessary to live, in order 
that you should perform the things you desire for 
mankind. The work of life ought to be done 
without pain. Already thou art attenuated; thy 
youthful bloom is faded, thou art drawing near to 
the grave. Gain not thy possession at too great 
cost. The victory over the spirit is hard, very hard 
to attain." 

The young ascetic answers, "Papiyan, thou ally 
of whatever is delirious and insane, hither art thou 
come to assail and seduce . me ? Know that the 
end of life is death, inevitable. I shall not seek 
to escape it. Armed with courage and with wis- 
dom, there is no creature in the world that can 
move me. Demon, soon shall I gain the conquest 
over thee. The desires are thy first soldiers, ennui 


2 9 

the next, then the passions, love of ease, fear, 
anger, ambition, false fame, self-praise, censoriousness, 
these are thy black hosts. Thy soldiers reduce 
the gods as the world of men. But I will destroy 
them by wisdom. " 

Then he did battle with these demons, fought in 
the wilderness and overcame, and Mara, humiliated 
and ashamed, for the time withdrew. Ere long, 
however, the sons of the gods came to make an 
attack upon him still more formidable. He was 
fasting severely, and his very life was passing away. 
They offered to infuse nourishment through the 
pores of his skin, and enable him to show the 
peasants the miracle of a man, sustained in good 
vigor, who took no food. He rejected with scorn 
and indignation the proffer. "Yes, verily, I might 
show the peasants such a spectacle, and they might 
believe that Sramana eats not at all, all the while 
being secretly nourished in this manner by the sons 
of the gods, but it were on my part a huge lie. 
Nay, indeed!" And so, in his own dialect, this spn 
of man also in the wilderness, declares, "Get thee 
behind me, Satan. Man shall not live by bread alone, 
but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth 
of God." 

Other conflicts remained ; before attaining Bodhi, 
the highest wisdom and possession, he must achieve 

3 o BUDDHA. 

still more conquests. He challenged the prince of 
the infernal regions, with all his black hosts, to com- 
bat. Sending from a point between his eyebrows 
(a little tuft of hair that was one of the thirty-two 
signs upon him at birth), a beam of light that 
pierced and made to tremble all the depths of hell, 
he roused Papiyan, who, alarmed for his kingdom, 
summoned all his forces together. A council of 
war was held. Some were for yielding, at least, 
making no attempt, foreseeing certain defeat. Others 
were for every adventure desperation could make, 
believing in victory. This counsel prevailed. Four 
corps d'armee there were, hideous and frightful beyond 
description. The demons changed their visage in a 
hundred million ways, their hands and their feet were 
intertwined with ten thousand serpents, they carried 
swords, bows, pikes, javelins, hatchets, clubs, pestles, 
and all the weapons known to that time, thunder- 
bolts included ; their heads were lurid with flame ; 
belly, feet, hands of most disgusting aspect; their 
teeth projected in tusks, the tongue swollen and hang- 
ing from the mouth ; their eyes shot fire like those of 
the poisonous black serpent. 

With these dire hosts came the assault upon the 
single solitary soul. But in vain ; utterly impotent 
and baffled they were. The pikes, javelins, and the 
huge rocks even, that they hurled at him, transmuted 


to flowers, and gathered in garlands about his head. 
Papiyan made other attempts. Foiled in violence, he 
tried the arts of persuasion, sent his daughters, the 
beautiful Apsaras, to tempt Bodhisattva,* exhibiting to 
him the thirty-two kinds of bewitchment known to 
women. They sang and they danced before him, 
and plied him with all imaginable fascinations and 
seductive charms, but they were alike unsuccessful as 
their brothers had been. Nay, they were themselves 
overcome, and out of compelled respect and esteem, 
broke forth in songs of praise to that virtue which 
was too high that their art could touch. Papiyan 
puts forth once more a last desperate attempt, but 
is disappointed and stung, to see his very sons, who 
had been most eager for the conflict, turned to 
adore and worship Gautama. In his despair he 
smote upon his breast and uttered groans; retiring by 
himself, he traced with his arrow upon the ground, 
"My kingdom is departed. "f Such is the legend, 
wrought in all the extravagance of Oriental imagina- 
tion, and yet it is nowise difficult to see the ground- 
work of severe truth that lay at the bottom. 

* Bodhisattva, a general term applied to characterize any one 
who is aspiring and striving after the Buddhahood state of superior 
wisdom and liberation. 

f The scene of the temptation also is depicted on the northern 
gateway of the temple at Sanchi, middle beam. See Fergusson as 
as above, frontispiece. 


But we have anticipated a little. Before Gau- 
tama had passed all these conflicts, he had renounced 
the ascetic practices of the Brahmans, satisfied that 
they afforded not the vaunted road to deliverance, 
and returned to a more free and normal life. "As 
the man," he somewhere says, "wko would discourse 
sweet music, must tune, the strings of his instru- 
ment to the medium point of tension, so he who 
would arrive at the condition of Buddha must exer- 
cise himself in a medium course of discipline." 
This scandalized the five friends who had followed 
him from Rajagnha, and they forsook him in deep 
displeasure. He was left alone, and by himself he 
commenced to elaborate with patient care the thought 
which to his mind was to be the life of the world. 

He had learned himself, he had vanquished his 
adversaries, he knew now somewhat of the foes he 
he was to meet, and his power to resist them. But 
had he got distinct view of the high wisdom ? 
Did he see the ivay so clearly that he could make 
it plain to others? He recalled the experiences of 
his childhood, the splendid visions that had come 
to him in early years in that garden of his father's 
under the bamboo tree. Would his thought, ripened 
by reflection, fulfil and realize these high promises? 
Could the day-dream become a reality? After days 
and weeks spent in deep, rapt thought, he was able 


to say, Yes. He had found the way, had seen the 
vision of life the way, he describes it, "of the 
sacrifice of sense, the way which shows the path of 
deliverance, leads to the possession of universal 
knowledge, the way of remembrance and of clear 
judgment, softening old age and death, calm, with- 
out anxiety, free from all fear, and bringing to the 
home of Nirvana." Here he had become as he 
deemed, Buddha, the illuminated, fully conscious, 
perfectly emancipate and free. An entire day and 
night, it is said, he sat under the Bodhi tree, and it 
had become the last watch, the first gleam of the 
day-dawn, when the vision came, "he. was clothed 
with the quality of perfect wisdom, he attained the 
triple science." All nature at this momeiu testified 
her joy. "All the flower-trees in the various sak- 
walas (systems of worlds) put forth blossoms ; and to 
the same extent the fruit-trees became laden with 
fruit. On the trunks and branches there were lotus- 
flowers, whilst garlands were suspended from the sky. 
The rocks were rent, and upon them flowers appeared, 
in ranges of seven, one above the other. The Lokan- 
tarika hills, 80,000 miles in extent, in all these sak- 
walas, were illuminated by a more brilliant light than 
could have been made by seven suns. The waters 
of the great ocean, 840,000 miles deep, became fresh. 
The streams of the rivers were arrested. The blind 



from birth saw, the deaf heard, the lame walked, and 
the bound prisoner was set free. " * 

The place where he was visited with this high 
experience is celebrated in the Buddhistic annals; it 
was called Bodhimanda the seat of intelligence. 
The tree under which Gautama was sitting became 
historic, and the faithful in after ages did not fail 
to gather about it, and pay there a most devout 
worship. In the year 632 of our era, Hiouen Thsang, 
the Chinese pilgrim, found the tree, or at least what 
was reputed to be it, still standing. It was protected 
by a circle of brick wall, and approached by gates 
opening on the east, south and west. "Its trunk 
was of creamy white, its leaves green and glossy, and 
according to the information given our traveler they 
never fell, either in autumn or winter. Only on the 
anniversary-day of the Nirvana (death) of Buddha they 
fall all at once, to be reproduced the next day more 
beautiful than before. Each year, on that same day, 
the kings, ministers, magistrates, etc., gather about it, 
shower it with milk, illumine with lamps, scatter 
flowers about it, and carry away the leaves that have 
fallen." f 

* Hardy's Legends and Theories of the Buddhists, pp. 139, 140. 
See also Bigandet's Legend, etc., pp. 90, 91. 

f St. Hilaire's Bouddha, pp. 29, 30. 



There was still one ground on which Buddha felt 
hesitation. Sure as he was of himself, clear as was 
his own view of the way, he had doubt whether this 
high doctrine could be commended by him so it 
should be accepted. "It is subtle and deep, beyond 
the reach of the understanding, open only to wise 
souls ; is in conflict with all the world. How will it 
be received ? Men will not apprehend it. It may 
only be rejected, and I be mocked. Hardly should 
I expose myself to their insults, and be my own 
victim." Three times he was on the point of yield- 
ing, taking in view the easily possible nay, as 
seemed, the very probable consequences of his stand- 
ing forth as a public teacher. But consideration 
of the needs of men prevailed, and banished every 

"Three classes of men/' he said within himself, 
"one finds, very much as when one sits beside a, 
tank and notes the water-lilies growing in it ; he sees 
some below the surface, others with heads raised 
quite above it, and others still just on the surface. 
So all mankind are of these three the sunken, the 
hopelessly bad, the confirmedly virtuous, and the 
undecided, the wavering. The first I may not help, 
the second are strong, and do not need me, but the 
third shall I leave them to perish? Perhaps my 
word will save them, or some of them." Infinite 


compassion moved him, and he resolved to devote 
himself henceforth, without thought of anything per- 
sonal to himself, to the redemption of man. 

His first idea was that he would seek his old 
masters at Vaisali and Rajagriha, both of whom he 
remembered with tender affection. But it was a long 
while since he parted from them, and in the interval 
they had passed away. Could he have been earlier, 
he said with himself, sorrowfully, he might have helped 
these old friends ; now, alas ! it was too late. His 
next thought was of the five disciples who had left 
him, and he resolved to seek them. They were all 
young men of a generous strain ; might be they would 
hear the law. They were at Varanasi ( Benares), 
and he must needs cross the Ganges. The river 
was at this time high and very rapid, and he found 
some difficulty in getting ferried over, for he had no 
money to pay with. King Bimbisara, learning of the 
circumstance, afterwards abolished all charge for fer- 
riage to devotees. 

The five saw him approaching, and all their old 
remembrance of the offense he gave them came up. 
They agreed among themselves that they would have 
no conversation with him, would offer him no seat, 
have nothing to do with him. But the presence of 
their old master disarmed them, they sat uneasy, and 
instinctively were constrained to rise and honor him. 

THE LIFE. 3 7 

They gave him a mat, and water for his feet, and 
addressed him, "Ayushmat (Master) Gautama, wel- 
come ! Pray sit down upon the mat. Sire, have 
you risen beyond human law, and attained clear 
vision of the sublime science?" "Call me not 
Ayushmat," he responded. "Long time have I 
remained without profit to you. I have not given 
you help or any benefit. Yes, I have arrived at 
clear vision of immortality, have seen the way that 
guides thither. Come, let me teach you the Law. 
Your spirits shall be delivered by the destruction of 
'all your faults, and clear knowledge of yourselves; 
you shall make an end of' births, and arrive at 
supreme possession." Then pleasantly he recalled to 
them the language, not kindly, they had indulged in 
as they saw him coming. Ashamed and confused 
they confessed their sins, and gladly embraced him 
as their teacher and the guide of the world. The 
interview, we are told, on this first meeting was 
long, lasted to the latest watch of the night, and 
Buddha unfolded to them freely his doctrine. It 
was the enthusiasm of the teacher freshly entered 
upon his work ; of the learner, hearing for the first 
time the quickening word. 

Benares was, as it still is, a distinguished seat and 
radiating center of the Brahmanical doctrine. Here 
was good missionary ground, and the young prophet 

3 8 BUDDHA. 

improved it well. As the story reads, here he turned, 
for the first time, the wheel of the law. The preach- 
ing was earnest and startling, and for a time com- 
manded all ears. All the classes, from Brahman to 
Kandala, gathered to hear it. As usual, men blessed 
and cursed. Some accepted gladly, others turned 
away with scorn and offense. The old charge of mad- 
ness was repeated. They said, "The son of the king 
has lost his reason." The legends are mostly silent 
concerning this history, and of others how much, in 
what they profess to give, is authentic we cannot know. 
The first conversion after that of the five, one 
relation tells us, was of a young layman, son of a 
very wealthy citizen of Benares. This youth, wearied 
and sick with the round of luxuries and sensuous 
pleasures that were provided for him, stole away by 
night from his home and sought the feet of the 
saint, heard the law, and gladly accepted. The 
father, going all about in search of his son, came 
erewhile into the same presence, and he too was won. 
"O, illustrious master," he exclaimed, "your doctrine 
is a most excellent one ; when you preach it you 
do like one who replaces on its base an upset cup ; 
like one who brings to light precious things that had 
hitherto remained in darkness ; one who opens the 
mind's eyes that they may see the pure truth." 
Invited to the house of the father, Buddha gained 



the mother and the wife of the young man. Next 
four young men, then fifty, we are told, of the best 
in the city, friends and companions of this youth, 
moved by his example, came in and gave up their 
lives to religion. "All these/' as one of the legends 
in Chinese puts it, "were but instances of the virtue 
of the overflowing streams of the heavenly dew 
(divine grace), and the enlightening power of the 
mani gem (divine wisdom)/' 

The discipleship so numerous, counting now more 
than sixty, Buddha must erewhile send these men 
'forth to evangelize. The good news was for all the 
world ; let them hasten to preach it to every crea- 
ture. "Let us part with each other," the legend 
reports him as saying, "and proceed in various and 
opposite directions. Go ye now, and preach the 
most excellent law, expounding every point thereof, 
and unfolding it with care. Explain the beginning 
and middle and end of the law to all men without 
exception. You will meet, doubtless, with a great 
number of mortals, not as yet hopelessly given up 
to their passions, who will avail themselves of your 
preaching for reconquering their hitherto forfeited 
liberty, and freeing themselves from the thralldom of 
passions." This was the first sending forth of the 
apostles, of which history has preserved us any record. 
The mission, as we see, was to humanity. 



Such work was accomplished not without oppo- 
sition. There were heart-burnings, jealousies, ill 
reports, and at length plots, machinations against 
him, so that at times he was in imminent peril of 
his life. The authors and instigators, as we should 
naturally know, were the Brahmans. They instantly 
saw how this reform would bear upon their exclusive 
claims and position, and they left no means untried 
to crush it in its incipiency. Here was a man that 
met them on their own ground, and worsted them ; 
that challenged them to public debate, and was too 
much for them, put them to shame, and what could 
be done with him but to silence his voice? Mild 
as he was, Buddha did not spare them ; he exposed 
their tricks and impostures, and set the brand upon 
them deep, of hypocrites and charlatans. Probably 
to the fact of the more pacific or less violent temper 
of the Indian blood we owe it that here again was 
not enacted such tragedy as that of the crucifixion 
at Jerusalem, or the poisoning at Athens. 

Leaving Benares the story conducts him to the 
forest of Uruvilva, where he wrought many conver- 
sions the legend says one thousand, including the 
distinguished teacher Kasyapa and erewhile to 
Rajagriha. King Bimbasara had invited him hither. 
His reception was very hospitable, and in this neigh- 
borhood, Magadha, and in Kosala, whose capital was 


Sravasti, and king, Prasenajit, very friendly to Buddha, 
he seems to have spent thenceforth a large part of 
his life. One of his favorite resorts was a high hill, 
called the Vulture Peak, from a fancied resemblance 
to that bird, overlooking Rajagriha ; it afforded mag- 
nificent views, as also fine shade and fountains. 
Some of his most famous discourses are marked as 
having been delivered here. Hard by was the garden 
or grove of Kalantaka, which a rich merchant of the 
city presented him, having built upon it a superb 
monastery, for the use of the disciples. Here were 
converted Sariputra, Katyayana and Maudgalyayana, 
names eminently distinguished in the subsequent 
history. Another grove, Nalanda, is mentioned, a 
little farther distant from the city, which became very 
celebrated in this connection. Hiouen Thsang saw 
here, at the time of his visit, immense monasteries, 
the finest, he tells us, in all India, and ten thousand 
monks dwelling in them, all maintained at the public 

But in Kosala, which was north of the Ganges, 
Buddha spent more time than in Magadha. King 
Prasenajit invited him to his capital, and became a 
disciple. Here also, near the city, was a grove that 
became famous, one that Anatha Pindika, a minister 
6f the king, long-time distinguished for his boundless 
beneficence to the poor and orphaned, purchased . and 



presented to him. He also erected upon it a 
monastery, and here, it is said, that for twenty-three 
years Buddha made his principal residence, teaching 
all that came. Prajapati, his aunt, embraced the 
faith here, and became the first of the female Bud- 
dhist devotees. A great innovation it was upon the 
old-time usage, to admit females to monastic orders, 
and Ananda, his cousin, is said to have been largely 
instrumental in effecting it. 

After a separation of twelve years, Buddha saw 
again his father and kindred of Kapilavastu. He 
had attained the illumination and deliverance, and 
the time for the fulfillment of the prophecy was come. 
The father, grieved much at the withdrawal of his 
son, sent many messengers, successively, to commu- 
nicate with him, but all were so charmed by his 
person and speech that they forgot to return. At 
length he sent one of his ministers, Tcharka. He, 
like the rest, was won, but returned, to tell the king 
what he had seen, and announced the contemplated 
visit. The king anticipated, and came to see his 
son. What effect this had upon the father we know 
not, but we are told that Buddha soon after went 
to Kapilavastu, and all the Sakyas, hearing him, 
embraced the faith. Among them was his son, 
Rahula. And Gopa, or, as some say, Yasodhara, 
who, in sympathy, had followed her husband all the 

THE LlfiE. 43 

while since his departure, adopting, fast as she learned 
of them, his diet and his plain style of dress 
she and five hundred other women of rank became 
converts and assumed the monastic robe. 

The scene of his activity must have been wider 
than the comparatively narrow domain we have men- 
tioned. We hear of him on the banks of the Indus 
the scene of his feeding a hungry tigress with his 
own arm is laid here, and Hiouen Thsang, eleven 
hundred years later, found the grass, he tells us, 
still red with the blood that flowed, and there was 
probably little of Northern India that he did not at 
some time visit. Thfee several times, the Singhalese 
annals tell us, he visited their island, and he left 
there in two places the prints of his sacred feet. 
But the legends are very fragmentary and uncertain 
here, long stretches of years are left entirely blank, 
and much that is said of the wide journeyings, etc., 
may quite likely be a later addition. We have 
enough to show that it was a very busy life, intensely 
devoted to the word and works of kindliness and 
mercy. Probably a portion of those years over which 
the veil of silence hangs was spent in withdrawal, 
hiding away from the reach of those enemies that 
sought his blood. 

We select from among the incidents related, a few, 
which, whether authentic or not, have a verisimilitude 



and are not unworthy of record. King Suddhodana, 
already far advanced in years, was seized with a 
violent distemper, that gave him no rest, by day 
or by night. He felt strong, irrepressible desire once 
more to see his son. Buddha, while in the early 
morning, as was his wont, viewing the condition of 
all beings, ,and devising in his compassionate heart 
what might be done for them, saw the condition of 
his father, and he hastened, traveling, as did Abaris 
the Hyperborean, through the air, to his side. By 
skillful appliances he healed the disease, but, announc- 
ing to Suddhodana that in seven days he must die, 
expounded to him the law^. Suddhodana saw, 
believed and found repose. "Rocking himself in the 
bosom of these comforting truths," he spent happily the 
few days he had yet to live. On the last day, in pres- 
ence of all his royal attendants, he asked pardon for 
all the offenses he had committed in thought, word 
or deed, and expired in the arms of his son, in the 
ninety-seventh year of his age. Buddha consoled the 
wife, Prajapati, by reminding of the transience of all 
earthly, the inevitable separation that comes to every 
one, and the home of possession to which the four 
paths lead. 

In the fields one day he met a Brahman, who . 
was a farmer, with bullocks, plough, seed, etc. He 
was tilling 'and planting for the future harvest. 



Entering into conversation with him upon his work, 
and the instruments employed in the performance, he 
hinted that he himself was also a husbandman, culti- 
vating a domain, and having need of and using all the 
apparatus found with the best furnished farmer. The 
Brahman, somewhat suprised and puzzled, Buddha 
explains to him what in this husbandry is seed, what 
the plough, the reins for guiding, the bullocks, etc. 
"The bullocks have to work hard to complete the 
task of tillage. So the sage has to struggle hard to 
till perfectly and cultivate thoroughly the soil of his 
own being, and reach the happy state of Nirvana." 
The worker in the field of earth is sometimes dis- 
appointed, sometimes feels the pangs of hunger. But 
the worker in the field of wisdom, he says, knows 
no failure, and is exempt from all suffering and 
sorrow. He eats the fruit of his labor, and is fully 
satisfied when he beholds Nirvana. 

A Brahman and his wife, in one of the towns 
he visited, were very friendly, proffered him hospi- 
tality and sought his blessing. During many exist- 
ences, they said, we have always been happily united. 
Not an unpleasant word has ever passed between us. 
We pray that in our coming existence the same love 
and affection may ever unite us together Their 
request was granted ; in presence of a large assembly 
Buddha pronounced them blessed, happy among all 

4 6 BUDDHA. 

men and women. A poor weaver's daughter, intensely 
desirous to hear the teacher, stops on her way to the 
loom, quill and yarn in her hand, and sits down 
timidly behind the furthermost rank of the congre- 
gation. The saint sees her, and calls her forward, 
catechises, instructs and blesses her, extolling her 
thoughtful wisdom and earnest love for the true. 

In a forest of Kosala dwelt a famous robber and 
murderer, the terror of the neighborhood. Many 
had fallen victims, and the king was powerless to 
afford protection against him. Buddha, coming that 
way, went, despite all remonstrances, boldly to his 
den. Ugalimala, very wroth, set out instantly to 
slay. him. But the saint, by his perfect self-posses- 
sion, his kindliness, benignity and commanding pres- 
ence disarmed, subdued the hard man, won him to 
the law, and brought him in a disciple. Henceforth 
he lived worthily and rose to the attainment of a 

Devadatta, a cousin, and for a time a disciple of 
Buddha, with the full countenance of King Ajata- 
satru, hired thirty bowmen to take his life. Practiced 
ruffians, they were nothing loth, rather were eager 
for the deed. But just as they were about to put it 
into execution, they were restrained, incapacitated, 
"they felt themselves overawed by the presence of 
Buddha." Instead of his murderers they became 



worshipers, "fell at his feet, craved pardon, listened 
to his preaching, and were converted." At another 
time an elephant, infuriated, maddened by liquor that 
had been forced down his throat, was set upon him 
as he was quietly walking in the street. But the 
elephant, as he came into his presence, far from doing 
him injury, stood for a while, then knelt before him.* 
Such relations may be in a degree fabulous, yet they 
rest in a groundwork of severe truth ; the writer drew 
from ideals, was veracious. It is natural to believe 
in the greatness of the soul, to think it will some- 
times bear itself superior to all, work every conquest ; 
nay, it is sometimes found so. 

Near the close of his life he was already 
advanced in years a very tragic fortune befell his 
family and native city. A neighboring king, for some 
fancied offense, marched against it, captured it and 
put all the inhabitants to the sword. Sakya, who 
had in vain attempted to calm this vindictive ruler, 
and dissuade him from his purpose of blood, remained, 
as it is related, in the neighborhood of the unhappy 
city, and heard distinctly the wild din of the battle 
and the wail of the dying. After Virudhaka's (the 
king's) departure he repaired in the night-time alone 
to the city, and strolled through its desolate and 

Bigandet, pp. 249, 250. 

4 8 BUDDHA. 

corpse-covered streets. In that charming garden, near 
Suddhodana's palace, where in his childhood he had 
spent days together, he heard only death-groans, and 
saw by the starlight naked, mutilated bodies, mem- 
bers and trunks, scattered promiscuously about. Many 
of the victims were already dead, some in the last 
struggle. "He went from one to another, ministered 
to them of his deep sympathy, and comforted them 
in the assurance of the blessed beyond." * 

About forty-five years he had spent in unremit- 
ting self-denial and toil, his courage never failing, 
his zeal never for an instant growing cold, when the 
time for his departure had come. He was nearly 
eighty years old. He was returning from Rajagriha, 
towards Kosala, accompanied by Ananda, his cousin, 
and a large crowd of disciples. Standing upon a 
square stone, on the bank of the Ganges, he looked 
back towards Rajagriha, and remarked, with deep 
emotion, "Never again shall I see that city or the 
Throne of Diamond" this last being the place where 
he wrought his great victory and attained the Bud- 
dhahood. A like touching adieu he bade to Vaisali. 
He had not quite reached the city of Kusinagara f 

* Koeppen's Buddha, I., pp. 113, 114. 

f Lying a little more than one hundred miles northwest of the 
present Patna. 



city of Kusa grass when he felt that the end 
was at hand. He requested Ananda to prepare a 
place for him in a forest of Sala trees (shorea robusta] 
hard by. Pointing out two tall trees on the edge 
of the wood, he directed that the couch should be 
laid between them. Though the distance was short 
he made it only with great embarrassment, was com- 
pelled to rest twenty-five times on the way. Beneath 
these trees he spent his last hours, busily engaged 
upon the themes that had occupied his life. "The 
sun and moon shall decay ; what, then, is the sparkle 
of the glow-worm ? Therefore he exhorted them to 
strive after the imperishable body, to cast away the 
unreal." All the watches of the night he employed 
in kindly counsel to his friends, in earnest preaching 
to the Malla princes and the Brahman Subhadra, 
whom he converted there ; at the break of day he 
passed away. This occurred, according to the most 
probable determination, about 477 B. C.* 

While he was reclining on the couch, the account 
is that the two Sala trees became loaded with fragrant 
blossoms, which gently dropped above and all around 
his person, so almost to cover it. Not only these, 
but all in the forest, and in ten thousand worlds, 

* The Ceylonese Buddhists fix the time at 543 B. C. Practically 
the difference is of but little moment. Bunsen, on what authority 
does not appear, makes his death to have occurred in the fifty-sixth 
year of his age. 


went likewise into bloom. As the end approached, 
the blood of the Palasa flower poured forth, and at 
the moment of the death a fearful earthquake occurred, 
that shook the whole world ; sun and moon were 
darkened, .meteors flashed abroad, and finest dirge 
music, sounding from the skies, filled the air.* 

Ananda had inquired what ceremonies were to be 
performed after his demise. "Be not much concerned 
about what shall remain of me after my, Nirvana," was 
the reply, ' ' rather be earnest to practice the works that 
lead to perfection. Put on those inward dispositions 
that will enable you to reach the undisturbed rest of 
Nirvana." "Believe not," he says again, "that when 
I shall have disappeared from existence and be no 
longer with you, Buddha has left you and ceased to 
dwell among you. The law contained in Ihose sacred 
instructions which I have given shall be your teacher. 
By means of the doctrines which I have delivered to 
you, I will continue to. remain amongst you. " j* Obedi- 
ence, he insists, is greater than sacrifice. The Nagas, 

* Beal's Catena, p. 137. Bigandet, Legend, etc., p. 323. Koep- 
pen, I., p. 115. 

f In one of the Sutras of the Prajna Paramita class in the Chinese, 
on "the mystical body of Tathagata, without any distinct character- 
istic," we find this : " He who looks for me, /'. <?., for the true Tatha- 
gata, through any material form, or seeks me through any audible 
sound, that man has entered on an erroneous course, and shall never 
behold Tathagata. Beal's Catena, p. 277. 


Galongs and Nats, all coming from their respect- 
tive seats in the other worlds, showered flowers 
and perfumes, like dew, over and about his person. 
He said to Ananda, "The man or woman who 
practices the excellent works leading to perfect hap- 
piness these are the persons that render me a true 
homage and present to me a most agreeable offering. 
The observance of the law alone entitles to the right 
of belonging to my religion." To Ananda, who was 
the beloved disciple, the John of this band, he pre- 
dicts something of his future, the attraction he shall 
exercise, the warm, glowing love he shall win. "An- 
anda is graceful and full of amiability amidst all other 
Rahans. He has heard and seen much, he shines 
in the midst of the assembly. Rahans will come 
from a distance, on hearing all that is said of his 
graces, to see and admire him ; and all will agree 
in saying that what they observe surpasses all that 
they had heard." "Enraptured at the flow of his 
tender, touching and heart-moving eloquence, visitors 
shall eagerly listen to him ; they will experience sad- 
ness only when his silence shall deprive them of that 
food their mind and heart were feasting on." 

Whatever may have been the wishes of the saint 
and it would seem that he would have made very 
little account of the lifeless, perishing body the 
grandest obsequies followed upon his death. They 


were after the manner appointed for the Chakra- 
varttin kings, to whom, by descent, he reputedly 
belonged. On the eighth day the body was burned. 
At first the flames refused to do their office, but 
when Kasyapa had honored., the feet of the dead, the 
"flame of contemplation" burst forth from the breast, 
and consumed the entire corpse. The bones were 
of pearly whiteness, and they exhaled a fragrant odor, 
sweet as the breath of heaven. After hot disputes, 
which the history tells us, but for the remembrance 
of the amity and tender spirit of affection which the 
Master had taught, would have been bloody, these 
relics were divided into eight portions, and distributed 
to as many groups of friends, not omitting the Sakyas. 
Immense topes were afterwards erected over the several 
places where they lay, but in the time of King Asoka, 
about 250 B. C, they were gathered together again, 
redistributed, and sent abroad over the whole of India. 
We have some particulars of the person of this 
saint. He was not only a model of wisdom, sanctity, 
high character, but also of physical beauty. In the 
crown, we are told, his head rose very high, the hair 
was curly, and of deep black, the forehead broad and 
smooth, "the eye-lashes like those of a heifer," and 
the eyes jet black. "His brows were arched like 
the rainbow, his eyes ribbed like the leaf of the lotus." 
The teeth, in number forty, were regular, and of 



pearly whiteness. Every limb, every feature, down to 
the lines of the hand, fingers, finger-nails, etc., was 
modeled after the standard of perfect beauty, accord- 
ing to the Indian ideal, and all the details are 
carefully given. A likeness, accurate to the life, done 
in sandal-wood, is said to have been executed by one 
of the disciples, and to have served as the model of 
all the statues and portraits found in the North, 
wherever the faith penetrated. Another, a portrait 
upon canvas, made for King Bimbasara, as a present 
to a neighboring prince, is ascribed, in the outline at 
least, to Buddha himself. How far the representa- 
tions we now have were modeled upon these ancient 
pictures, supposing them to have existed, no one, of 
course, can tell. The face, in such as we have seen, 
bears a marked expression of fineness, of sweetness, 
illumination and beauty.* 

* The sources whence we have drawn, in preparing this sketch, 
are m good part indicated above. We name them together here : 
Barthelemy St. Hilaire's Le Bouddha et Sa Religion. Troisieme Edi- 
tion, Paris, 1866. C. F. Koeppen, Die Religion des Buddha, undihre 
Entstehung t Berlin, 1857, 1859. Eugene Bumouf s Introduction a la 
Histoire du Buddhisms Indien, Paris, 1844. S. Beal's Catena of Bud- 
dhist Scriptures, from the Chinese; London, 1871. Spence Hardy's 
Eastern Monachism, London, 1860. The same, Legends and Theories 
of the Buddhists, London, 1866. Wasseljew's Buddhismus, seine 
Dogmen, Geschichte und Literatur, St. Petersburg, 1860 ; and last, 
but not least, Bishop Bigandet's Life or Legend of Gaudama, Rangoon, 
1866. The agreement in the accounts preserved among the Northern 



Buddhists and the Southern respectively is singularly close, and shows 
clearly that they have all guarded with scrupulous care their sacred 
records, in this regard, from essential change since their separation, 
and gives good ground to believe that we have them now in all import- 
ant respects, as they were when first committed to writing. How soon 
this was done we do not know, but there is evidence that the Salita 
Vistara, the chief book of this kind among the Northern Buddhists, 
and rendered early into Chinese, Thibetan, etc., is of a date previous 
to the Christian era. See Max Mliller, Chips, L, p. 259. 

In Beal's Catena, pp. 130-142, is a remarkable statement of the 
legend, made by Wong-Puh, in the seventh century, who drew, as he 
says, from the old records. It is in aphorisms, and written in the style 
that was common in the schools at an early date. 



THE success that attended the preaching of this 
new faith was wonderful. Preaching itself was a 
novelty, for Burnouf says that, so far as he finds, it 
was a thing unheard of in India before.* Even 
during the life-time of its founder, his doctrine must 
have obtained a considerable prevalence, slow at first, 
doubtless, making its conquests at the hardest, but 
gaining each year, until at length it became broad- 
spread over the country. It supplanted Brahmanism 
largely on its own soil. We have no means of know- 
ing what its numerical strength then was, but the 
following must have been large, f The old was effete, 
gone utterly to decay, and the preaching of salvation 
by method so simple, natural, pure and enforced by 
life, and earnestness so devoted and transparent, could 

* Jntrod. p. 194. 

f The number reported by the early Buddhists as converted directly 
by Buddha himself is 1,250. Wasseljew, p. 26. 

5 6 BUDDHA. 

not fail to draw followers.* It brought quickening 
regeneration in the midst of prevailing death. It was 
a simple word of repentance and obedience, of high 
consecration and pure living, practical and intelli- 
gible, so far as the ethereal and transcendent truths 
that dwell in light inaccessible, can be brought to 
the understanding. There was no ceremonial, no 
elaborate scheme of expiation and deliverance. The 
handwriting of ordinances was blotted out, the immense 
structures broken down which priestly device had 
thrown about the soul to hedge it out from God. 
What a sense of relief it must have brought to many 
a poor, sick, weary and harrassed one, those may 
somewhat imagine who have known the like in 
their own experience. 

Buddha proclaimed the equality of all, no distinc- 
tion of blood or caste ; all were alike before the law. 
"The Brahman is born of a woman, so is the Kan- 
dala. Can you see any cause that should make 
the one noble and the other vile? The Brahman, 
when he dies, becomes a loathsome object, as does 
any one of a lower caste ; where, then, is the differ- 
ence?" "My law is a law of grace for all." "As 

* "If there is one broad fact that comes out from the legends of 
every kind, it is that Indian society was most deeply corrupt at the 
time when Buddha appeared there." St. Hilaire, p. 95. To the same 
effect, Koeppen, I., p. 56. 



the four rivers which flow into the Ganges, lose their 
names so soon as they mingle their waters with .the 
sacred stream, so those who believe in Buddha cease 
to be Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras." 

"Since the doctrine which I proclaim is altogether 
pure, it makes no distinction between high and low, 
rich and poor. Like water it is, which washes 
and purifies all alike. It is like the sky, for it has 
room for all, men, women, boys, girls, rich and 
poor." * 

How revolutionary it must have been, in a country 
ridden as no country ever was before or since, with 
the oppressions of caste ! He was himself a model 
of all the virtues and benignities he taught, and 
enforced every word with such personal consecration 
and love as touched deeply the heart. 

The wave of this influence was not soon spent. 
For the first time, so far as any records show us, the 
soul of humanity was kindled, the missionary spirit, 

* " He addressed himself to all classes ; nay, he addressed himself 
to the poor and degraded, rather than to the rich and the high." M. 
Mtiller, Chips, II., p. 343. "The whole proletary of India you would 
see in the assemblage of our reformer ; Sudras and Kandalas, barbers 
and scavengers, bankrupts, the imbecile, forsaken, aged, beggars and 
cripples, worn-out courtesans, outcast girls, that knew no couch but 
the dung-hill ; even thieves and highwaymen, murderers in a word, 
all the wretched and unfortunate, eagerly seek him, to gain through 
him deliverance from their burdens." Koeppen, L, p. 132. 


5 8 BUDDHA. 

the desire to carry the new word to all nations, was 
aroused. As early as the date of the third Council, 
say perhaps 308 years before Christ, we hear of 
extended missionary enterprises into foreign countries, 
into Cashmire on the north, beyond the Himalas to 
Thibet, and perhaps China, and into Ceylon and 
Farther India. Indeed there are accounts of some of 
this work done far earlier, but how far they are trust- 
worthy it is not possible now to decide.* The new 
religion had its poets. The soul was touched to 
rhythm, and the fine thought found fine utterance 
in the music of song. This was sure to come. 
The annals are mostly vacant, but we find mention 
made of a lyric poet, Parsva, in the reign of King 
Kanishka (a little before the Christian era), who did 
very much to popularize Buddhism, celebrating it in 
odes that were presently in the mouths of all. Others 
also are named ; two laymen, brothers in Magadha, 
whose hymns are still preserved, or profess to be, in 
one of the sacred collections (the Tanjur) of Thibet. f 
Fabian, a Chinese pilgrim in the fourth century, found 
Buddhism prevalent in the Cabul countries west of 
the Indus. In the reign of Ming-ti, emperor A. D. 

* See the substance of them in Wasseljew, pp. 42-44. But see 
also Koeppen. I., pp. 144, 188. 
f Wasseljew, pp. 52, 53. 


65, it gained public recognition as the third among 
the state religions of China, and it has maintained a 
strong hold there to this day, being professed in a 
sort by the lower classes of the people at large. In 
the seventh century there were not less than 3,716 
Buddhistic monasteries there, and at the present time, 
in Peking and its environs alone, there are 5,000 
temples and 80,000 monks. The number of priests 
in the empire is reported at over 1,000,000. From 
China it was carried in the fifth century to Corea, 
and in the sixth to Japan. Among the Tartar tribes 
it must have been propagated at least a century 
or two before our era. On the west at an early 
day it penetrated into Persia proper, but was 
repressed and driven back into Cabul by the 
relentless power of the Sassanidae. Then soon came 
the Mohammedan persecutions,' which lasted for cen- 
turies, and extended over all of Central Asia, as far 
as the banks of the Lob Nor. In these calamities, 
doubtless, very many literary documents of great value, 
touching the religion and its history, perished.* Like 
Christianity, Buddhism was first itself when trans- 
planted to foreign soil ; it achieved its great con- 
quests among those of different nationality, blood and 
civilization, from the people with whom it had its birth. 

* Wasseljew, pp. 79, 80. Also Koeppen, II., p. 34. 


A son of King Asoka, Mahinda, is said, with his 
sister, to have been sent to Ceylon,* and a very won- 
derful account of .the history of the planting of the 
faith in that island is contained in one of the old 
Singhalese annals. 

King Devanampiyatissa ruled over the island. 
Before he ascended the throne he was greatly distin- 
guished for wisdom and piety. On the day of his 
coronation all Nature testified her rejoicing ; rich 
metals and precious stones came up of their own 
accord from the bowels of the earth, and spread them- 
selves upon the surface. Pearls and other treasures, 
buried in the depths of the sea, rose and ranged 
themselves upon the shore, happy in the possession 
of such a prince. More marvelous still, a bamboo 
put forth three wonderful branches, one of silver, one 
covered with the most varied and beautiful flowers, 
and one graved with figures of the rarest animals and 
birds. The king, too modest to appropriate them 
himself, sent these choice treasures to the great 
Asoka. His embassadors came back, loaded with 
finest gifts, and charged with a message to their 

* Maudgaliputra, head of the third Council, deputed Mahinda, 
with his associates, commissioning them in these words: "Establish 
ye, in the delightful land of Lanka, the delightful religion of the 
Vanquisher." The Singhalese Mahavansa, quoted by Koeppen, I., 
p. 1 88, Note. 


sovereign: "I have found refuge with Buddha, the 
Law and the Congregation ; I am dedicated to the 
religion of the son of the Sakyas. Come, thou sov- 
ereign of men, acknowledge in thy heart this supreme 
refuge, and commit to it thy salvation." 

We do not know that the message received any 
immediate regard, but erewhile Mahinda and his sister 
were sent as missionaries to the island. The new 
faith was accepted. Devanampiyatissa, the Princess 
Annula and all the court embraced it, and the people 
flocked in crowds, to hear and receive. Mahinda 
became, as the old chronicler hath it, "the torchlight 
whereby the whole island was illuminated." Great 
memorial structures grew up, but they lacked relics, 
and King Asoka was applied to, to supply them. 
A collar-bone of Buddha was sent, which was received 
and provided for with all due honor. 

But more than all, a branch of that sacred tree, 
the Bo-tree at Bodhimanda, was sent, cut by the hand 
of the king, and carefully guarded by himself in 
person, until it was committed to the ship that was 
to carry it to the island. The most remarkable 
prodigies occurred on the way. The vessel cut 
swiftly the waves, and to the distance of a league 
away the rough billows subsided to smooth sea before 
it. Flowers of five different colors bloomed around 
it, and music, the most sweet and luscious, filled the 


air. Innumerable oblations were brought by innu- 
merable divinities, while the Nagas tried in vain to 
steal away this divine tree. Sanghamitta, the daughter 
of King Asoka, herself a high priestess, into whose 
hands this noble branch was committed for keeping, 
baffled all their wicked designs "by the power of her 
sanctity, " 

Such was the story of the tree in its passage. 
Arrived at its destination, the capital city, Anuradha- 
pura, it is borne in imposing procession, to be planted 
in the garden of Mahamega. Sixteen princes, clad 
in the most brilliant habits, are at hand to receive 
it, but the branch, leaving their grasp, rises aloft in 
the air, and stays there, glistening with a circle of 
light, which six luminous rays make about it. At 
the setting of the sun it descends again and plants 
itself without assistance, in the garden, where, for the 
space of eight days, a sheltering cloud protects it, 
watering it with quickening showers. Instantly then 
the fruits appear on the tree, and the king is thereby 
enabled to disseminate it over the island this won- 
derful tree, Bodhi, pledge of salvation. 

A faith supported by such prodigies ought to grow, 
or perhaps we might better say it had already attained 
large dimensions that there should have been such 
prodigies. The hold which Buddhism gained in 
Ceylon has never been broken, and although much 


degenerated from the pure simplicity and transparent 
truth of its founder, it still retains many points of 
singular attractiveness and worth.* 

It was effectually introduced into Thibet in the 
seventh century of our era, although it seems to have 
been preached there long time before, and after various 
fortunes sometimes encountering the bitterest perse- 
cutions it was at length established as the prevailing 
religion. Variously colored and mixed, modified by 
Sivaism, which it brought from India, and the Sham- 
anism which it found on Mongolian soil, grown now 
to a most rigid and narrow ecclesiasticism, with its 
lamaseries, hierarchy, pontifical college and Grand 
Lama, it still retains some of the fine features of its 
parentage, and is reverently called by the Thibetan 
people "the internal religion. "f 

In India, the land of its birth, after various 
fortunes, having been installed as the state religion, 
by King Asoka, and sometimes favored and some- 

* See here Hardy's Eastern Monachism, a book written from 
an orthodox Christian standpoint, by a missionary, and blind to much 
tfcat ought to have been seen and appreciated ; but, on the whole, 
pervaded by a spirit more than usually intelligent and candid. 

f In three cloisters, in or near Lhassa, are at the present time 
30,000 monks. Koeppen, II., in. These are of the yellow mantle. 
In the south of Thibet there is another church, of the Buddhists of the 
red mantle, with their Lama also, but of their number, as indeed of 
the number of the others, we are not informed. 


times persecuted by succeeding monarchs, Buddhism 
was assailed and expelled by its old enemy, the 
Brahmanical power. This final expulsion occurred 
about the eleventh or twelfth century of our era.* 
"Let him who slays not be slain/' read the decree, 
and the disciples of the meek Gautama were mas- 
sacred and driven out by the sword, f Not a single 
Buddhist to-day, it is said, is to be found on the 

The influence of Buddhism upon the western world, 
through the intercourse that, after the conquests of 
Alexander, sprung up between West and East, and 
lasted for centuries, was neither slight nor transient. 

* Cunningham, Bhilsa Topes, p. 166. 

f Spence Hardy puts it in the sixth century after Christ, but this is 
certainly too early, for Chinese pilgrims visited India in subsequent 
centuries, and found the faith widely current there. "The prince 
Sudhanvan gave orders to put all the Buddhists in India to death." 
Madhava Acharaya says : " The king commanded his servants' to put 
to death the old men and the children of the Bauddhas, from the 
bridge of Rama to the snowy mountain ; let him who slays not be 
slain." The fusion of three castes out of the four, leaving the Brahman 
paramount, and alone in integrity of race, is a proof of the severity of 
the strife. Among the millions of the Hindus, Buddha has not now 
a single worshiper. The minister of the powerful Akbar, in the i6th 
century, could find no one in the wide dominions of his master who 
could give him any explanation of the doctrines of Gotama." Legends 
and Theories, pp. 305, 206. It would seem, however, from the dates 
of the Mohammedan invasions that the time given by Major Cunning- 
ham above is too late. More probably it may be in the ninth or tenth 


In exchange for some of the elements of material 
civilization which she borrowed thence, India gave 
back to Rome advanced ideas upon the great prob- 
lems of life. The fine thought of the philosophers 
of Alexandria and the Platonic school generally, derived 
much of its stimulus and nourishment from the East, 
was Oriental speculation cast in Occidental mold. 
And sundry of the observances in the Catholic Church 
appear to have been derived from Buddhistic source. 
"The ideas found in the Inferno of Dante are many 
of them purely Buddhist. " * Josaphat, who has been 
made a leading character in the Roman martyrology, 
is Sakya-Muni transplanted and appropriated by Rome. 
The story was used to illustrate, as it well did, the 
trial and the conquest, amid great temptations, of a 
sensitive, saintly soul. Marco Polo said of Sakya, 
"If he had but been a Christian, he would have 
been of the foremost in the sight of Heaven." 

Undoubtedly Buddhism, as -we have it, histori- 
cally has been, and is, a gross idolatry, a dark, 
blighting paganism. It seems to have fallen towards 
that almost from the beginning. As had been the 
case with Brahmanism before it, on the one hand 
airy, vapid speculations arose, subtle dialectics, refining 
and sublimating, until they abolished everything, 

* S. Beal. 


annihilated all affirmative being, and left the spirit 
in the coldness and chill of mere negations ; * and 
on the other hand a gross sensualism, that worshiped 
form and circumstance and person, and made the 
very Nirvana low and carnal. Buddha, as the history 
tells, turned the wheel of the law, or taught publicly 
the word of life ; the saints to-day perform their 
devotions by turning with windlass huge wheels 
inscribed with mystic formulas and the precepts of 
their prophet. Buddha proclaimed the not, rising 
beyond the limitations of person, and feeling the utter 

* It would be of little profit here, even could we do it, to enter 
into any account of the Buddhistic speculation. It was very volumi- 
nous, and any tolerable sketch of it would take large space. There 
were many schools sects and sub-sects, beginning with Vaibhasrhikas 
and the Sautrantikas (those who held most by the Abhidharma and by 
the Sutras respectively), numbering at one time eighteen or twenty. 
Afterwards all are represented in the two Vehicles, the Great and the 
Little, which for many centuries contended together in debate upon 
their respective doctrines. And in these, especially the Great Vehicle, 
there were various divisions or schools. All the latitudes and realms 
of subtle, abstract thought were traversed in these speculations, and 
the stages of the ancient Greek philosophizing, and of the mediaeval 
scholastic, were percurred on the Eastern soil. The mysticism of the 
New Platonists and the idealism of Fichte is there. Says the Lanka 
Vatara, a book belonging to one school of the Great Vehicle, " What 
seems external exists not at all, only the soul manifests itself in different 
forms." Again it is said, "All worlds are but 'the creation of our 
thought." There is also in large measure the negation and nihilism 
of the Sophists, the Nominalists, and the skeptics of all ages. Those 
who are curious in such matters may find a sufficiently full account in 
Wasseljew's Buddhismus. 


impossibility to define heaven or the beyond, dropped 
never a hint describing it in form ; he forbore to 
utter any name of God, perhaps knew never a thought 
of personal immortality, and yet he was quickly him- 
self apotheosized, paradise was built up filled with 
carnal elements, and his own name is invoked as 
that of a supreme deity in the skies, ready to help 
forever. Such is the story of Buddhism wherever it 
has gained possession of multitudes ; such, with slight 
modifications, will we find it in Mongolia, in China, 
in Thibet, Ceylon and Farther India ; more marked 
as an idolatry doubtless in the later time, than it 
was in the early periods. 

But there were certain impressions laid upon it 
too deep to be effaced. It never lost its pacific, 
gentle character, never, at least in the early centuries, 
raised the hand of persecution or oppression, although 
it long had at its bidding the arm of civil power. 
It carried all its conquests by persuasion and the 
force of character. It suffered wrongs, sometimes 
great violence, at the hand of its enemies. We hear 
of wars, invasions of India, persecutions, in which 
many temples were burned and multitudes of Bhik- 
shus were killed. And the Brahmanical power, as 
we have seen, at length arose and put the followers 
of Sakya to the sword. But the same features of 
gentleness, reverent regard for life, forbearing to hurt 


the smallest creature that lives, distinguish the faith 
to this day. "No religion, not even the Christian," 
says Max Miiller, "has exercised so powerful an 
influence on the diminution of crime as the old, 
simple doctrine of the ascetic of Kapilavstu." * King 
Asoka, whose edicts are preserved on monumental 
columns and on rocks, enjoins the practice of the 
most generous virtues, orders the construction of roads 
and hospitals, and even abolishes capital punishment. 

"The king," he says, "beloved of the gods, 
honors every form of religious faith ; but considers 
no gift nor honor so much as the increase of the 
substance of religion ; whereof this is the root 
to reverence one's own faith, and never to revile that 
of others." 

"Alms and pious demonstrations are of no worth 
compared with the loving-kindness of religion. The 
festival that bears great fruit is the festival of duty." 

"The king's purpose is to increase the mercy, 
charity, truth, kindness and piety of all mankind." 

"There is no gift like the gift of virtue." 

"Good is liberality; good, it is to harm no living 
creature ; good, to abstain from slander ; good is the 
care of one's parents, kindness to relatives, children, 
friends, slaves." 

* Koeppen also speaks to the same effect I., 480, 481. 


' ' There is no higher duty than to work for the 
good of the whole world." 

Dushtagamim, a king of Ceylon, of the second 
century B. C. , is recorded in the Singhalese annals 
to have established hospitals, endowed monasteries, 
opened roads through his dominions, furthered agri- 
culture, etc. He constructed a stupendous dagoba, 
and the edict that is quoted from him in regard to 
it, declares that no part of that great work should 
be performed by unpaid labor.* 

Megasthenes, who about 300 B. C, was sent 
by Seleucus Nicator to Palibothra, to the court of 
King Kandragupta, where he spent several years, 
speaks of a sect of philosophers he found there 
opposed to the Brahmans, the Sarmanai, presumably 
the Sramanas, as they were called; i. e., ascetics who 
subdue the senses. They live simply, he says, sub- 
sisting upon the alms that are given them ; abstain 
from wine, and maintain most chaste celibacy. 

The manners of the Mongolians have been soft- 
ened, their characters very essentially ameliorated, since 
they y came under the influence of this faith, as all 
travelers who have been among them abundantly 
testify. Indeed, the change has amounted well nigh 
to a transformation, as will appear by comparing 

* See Johnson's Oriental Religions, pp. 739-741. 


them since their conversion with what they were 
before. Murder and robbery, it is testified, in the 
region extending from the Great Wall to the Altai, 
are as infrequent today as in the civilized countries 
of Europe. These savage hordes were the scourge 
and the terror of Asia. Some of the tribes still retain 
their old worships and wild barbarism, and show by 
contrast what Buddhism has achieved for those of 
the same blood and natural qualities. Of the Thi- 
betans, Neumann says, "The savage traits of these 
people, the mild, philanthropic doctrine of the prince 
Sakya has done much to soften, if it has not eradi- 
cated." "All men," they hold, "are brothers," 
and they seek to treat all with the spirit of a true 
fraternity. The Chinese have a proverb that runs 
so; "Religions are many, all different, but reason 
is one; we are all brethren/' which, though not 
directly traceable to Buddhism, probably came of that 

A like amelioration has been wrought upon the 
Birmese and Siamese. "Previous to its introduction," 
says Mr. Low, "these nations must have been savage 
in the extreme." Except in occasional instances of 
sudden heat and violent outbreaks of the savage 
passions as in the case of war against enemies, in 
which it is said they give loose to the every revenge 
they are pacific, gentle, tractable, exceedingly hospi- 


table to strangers, and most carefully considerate to 
anticipate their every want. Private persons construct 
in Siam, at their own expense, foot-paths and bridges, 
and erect along the streets and water-courses places 
of shelter and lodging-quarters for the wayfarer. Daily 
the women fill vessels with fresh water along the 
road-side, for the traveler, whenever he shall wish, to 
quench his thirst. The same custom obtains also 
in Ceylon. Thefts and mu-rders are comparatively 
unknown, the latter particularly. In the populous 
city of Bangkok, containing 400,000 people, very rarely, 
we are told, is a broil or quarrel seen, and so infre- 
quently is murder committed, that sometimes for the 
space of an entire year there will not be a single case. 

If, as in Japan and Siam, Buddhists have once 
arisen to put down with strong arm of power Chris- 
tianity from their midst, it is to be remembered that 
this was done under the provocation of a first wanton 
attack, and attempted extermination of their own insti- 
tutions and faith. 

The testimony is abundant that the natural moral- 
ities are better observed, the chastities better maintained 
in the countries under the sway of Buddhism than 
elsewhere in the East. Tender care is taken of the 
sick, the aged, the helpless. Reverence to parents 
is made one of the first of duties. A sixth com- 
mandment (the five of universal obligation are given 


on page 86) imposed upon the laity in Thibet is, 
"Thou shalt cherish thy father and mother." 

"To honor father and mother is better than to 
pay worship to the gods of heaven and earth.'' 

"If a child should carry father and mother, one 
upon each shoulder, for a hundred years, he would 
then do less for them than they have done for him." 

These passages of the law have become proverbs 
with the people. 

Bigandet testifies that one effect of Buddhism, 
wherever it has gone and exerted anything like a 
decisive influence, is the amelioration a very material 
one of the condition of woman. This is marked in 
Siam, in Tartary, Birmah and Ceylon. And he ascribes 
it to the fact that this religion knows no distinctions of 
rank, except such as are founded in character.* There 
are works written by Buddhistic authors against caste, 
and these have been used by Christian missionaries 
in their warfare against that oppression, f Polygamy 
is not approved, albeit Buddhism sprang up and has 

*Pp. 283, 284. "It was his (Buddha's) doctrine that it is the 
greater or less development of the moral principle that makes the essen- 
tial difference in the status of men." Hardy, Legends, etc., p. 15. 

f Koeppen, L, p. 129. Here is a sample of the argument : 
"The foot of a tiger differs by very distinct characteristics from that of 
an elephant, of an elephant from that of a man ; but no one can tell 
wherein the foot of a Brahman differs from that of a Sudra." 


grown among polygamists. In Ceylon and Birmah 
it is prohibited ; monogamy is the rule here and in 
Siam, though less general in Thibet and Mongolia. 
Polyandry indeed prevails to some extent, as among 
the lower classes in Ceylon, and particularly in Thi- 
bet, but this at any rate in Thibet is much older 
than the introduction of Buddhism there, and is 
opposed and forbidden by Lamaism. * 

Mrs. Leonowens, the English governess at the 
king's court in Siam, found the condition, as a whole, 
less favorable than the statements above, drawn from 
residents there, would indicate ; nevertheless she 
instances some features that are not a little remark- 
able, and go to show something of the quality 
of the religion held there. In the temple service 
that she attended, the invocation is this : " O, Thou 
Eternal One, the Perfection of Time, Thou immu- 
table Essence of [ in] all Change, Thou most excellent 
radiance of Mercy, Thou infinite Compassion, Thou 
Pity, Thou Charity!" Then followed an exhortation 
to charity and kindliness, fervent, fine, such, she says, 
"as might be wisely imitated by the most orthodox 
of Christian priests." And that these are not wholly 

* So, at least, it is said in Koeppen, I. , p. 477, Note, though the 
statements, as given on opposite pages, in regard to prohibition or 
permission, are conflicting. 



empty words, is evidenced by the acts of generous 
beneficence, done at some times, particularly on 
Buddha's birthday, to the suffering and the poor. 

One of the most impressive scenes she ever wit- 
nessed, she tells us, was on the occasion of the 

death of a Buddhist priest, the High Priest of Siam. 

It was an exhibition of complete trust in the Supreme, 
a self-forgetfulness, devotion to the welfare of others 
to the very end. This was the invocation chanted by 
the assembled priests : 

First Voice "Thou Excellence or Perfection! I take 
refuge in Thee." 

All "Thou who art named Poot-thoo ! either God, 
Buddha or Mercy I take refuge in Thee." 

First Voice "Thou Holy One! I take refuge in 
Thee ! " 

All " I take refuge in Thee ! " 

"The absorbing rapture of that look, which seemed 
to overtake the invisible, was almost too holy to gaze 
upon. Riches, station, honors, " kindred he had 
resigned them all more than half a century since, 
in his love for the poor, and his longing after truth. 
He was going to his clear eternal calm. With a 
smile of perfect peace, he said, 'To your Majesty 
I commend the poor, and this that remains of me 
I give to be burned.' And that, his last gift, was 
indeed his all."* 

* English Governess at the Siamese Court, pp. 189, 201, 202. 


The late king of Siam mainiained entire religious 
freedom for all his subjects, protected Christian 
churches against interference, and sought to purify 
Buddhism from superstition and exalt it to a pure 
catholic religion. The present king has abolished 
slavery thoughout his dominions, has broken, or is 
breaking up the mendicancy and idleness of the priests, 
sending them out to earn their living by some honest 
industry, and has initiated various important public 
improvements besides. The lesson of equal rights 
and equal liberties, we are told, he had lived and 
learned long ago, in childhood. Free churches of 
Buddhists who reject all that is miraculous, and adhere 
only to the moral teachings, have existed in that 
country nearly forty years.* And so we find freedom 
from a spirit of narrowness, intolerance, the conceit 
of exclusive claim, among the Buddhists to a remark- 
able, an unprecedented degree. They have seen far 
enough to discover that all religions are approxima- 
tions, and the highest is but partial. Hence they 
have not infrequently sought to supplement their own 
from another. Said a Singhalese chief, who put his 
son in a Christian school, to the astonished mission- 
ary, "I have a like veneration for the doctrines of 
Christianity, as for those of Buddhism. I add your 

* Sir John Bowring, quoted by Koeppen, I., 468. 

7 6 BUDDHA. 

religion to my own, in order to steady it, for I 
consider Christianity a very safe outrigger to Bud- 
dhism." Kublai-Khan, the great Tartar monarch, in 
the fourteenth century, Father Ruysbrock tells us, 
hearing all the advocates plead for their respective 
faiths ac his court, declared that as the different 
ringers are given to the one hand, so are the relig- 
ions. The Regent of Lhassa declared perpetually to 
the Catholic missionaries Hue and Gabet, as they 
tell us, "Your religion is like our own, the truths 
are the same ; we differ only in the explanation. 
Amid all that you have seen and heard in Tartary 
and Thibet you must have found much to condemn ; 
but you are to remember that the many errors and 
superstitions that you may have observed, have been 
introduced by ignorant Lamas, but are rejected by 
intelligent Buddhists." "He admitted between us 
and himself only two points where there was dis- 
agreement the origin of the world and transmi- 
gration of souls." "Let us examine them both 
together," said he to them again, "with care and 
sincerity ; if yours is the best we will accept it ; how 
could we refuse you ? If, on the other hand, ours 
is best, I doubt not you will be alike reasonable, 
and follow that." 

"Popular education," says Bastian, "has reached 
a considerable degree of advancement in all Buddhist 


countries. Every town, almost every secluded village, 
has its monastery occupied by monks, who, either 
with or without pay, give instruction to children, 
affording to all the means of acquiring elemental 
knowledge ; so that it is rare to find persons who 
can neither read nor write." 

In the Chinese Fo worship, the Liturgy, there is 
recorded a vow of the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin the 
great Compassionate Heart or Mercy a high act of 
consecration to the service of humanity. "Never 
will I seek or receive private individual salvation 
never enter final peace alone, but forever and every- 
where will I live and strive- for the universal^ redemp- 
tion of every creature throughout all worlds. Until 
all are delivered, never will I leave the world of sin, 
sorrow and struggle, but will remain where I am." 
The worshipers are to seek to be filled and quick- 
ened with the same spirit, to pray and to toil for 
the salvation of all men. * ' I pray for all men, that 
they may attain perfection of wisdom, may I quickly 
deliver all sentient creatures ! may all emerge from 
the wheel of transmigration and be saved."* In what 
Christian land shall we easily find a like generous 
vow of consecration ? 

* Baal's Cateita, pp. 405, 406, 409. Also see address by Rev. 
W. H. Charming, on the Religions of Chitia, as given in the annual 
report of the meeting of the Free Religious Association, 1870. 


The following is given as a" Mongolian prayer : 

" O them in whom all creatures trust, Buddha, perfected 
amidst countless revolutions of worlds, compassionate to- 
wards all, and their eternal salvation, bend down into this 
our sphere, with all thy society of perfected ones. Thou 
law of all creatures, brighter than the sun, in faith we 
humble ourselves before thee. Thou who completest all 
pilgrimage, who dwellest in the world of rest, before whom 
all is but transient, .descend by thy almighty power, and 
bless us." 

These show traces of a parentage that has never 
been effaced ; they carry back to a home first in 
some broad, catholic soul. 



IT seems possible, in a measure, to penetrate the 
myth and fiction, to read through the partial or 
awry representation of him, and learn what this man 
was, judge of his quality and relations, not to Indi- 
ans or Mongolians simply, but to mankind. The 
data for forming such judgment are tolerably fair. 
It does not appear that he ever wrote anything. 
The Sutras or discourses were put to record from 
memory, some time after his death * some of them 

* The Canon is said to have been settled in the first Council, held 
a few days after the death of Buddha, but this is doubtful. It is not 
probable that anything that we have, was put to record, or, at 
least, formally passed upon, earlier than the third Council, held in 
the time of King Asoka, and perhaps a good portion is not of so 
early a date as that. According to the Singhalese tradition the Canon 
was first written down considerably later, say nearly 100 B. C., and 
according to the Thibetan, only at the time of King Kanishka, about 
the commencement of our era. Still there are two or three small 
books, as we shall see, that probably are genuinely authentic utter- 
ances of the Master, bearing an internal character that gives them 
decided superiority over most of the others. 


perhaps not even so good as that but the features 
laid upon his institution, and current in the beliefs 
of his followers, are distinct enough to give a meas- 
urably clear and just view of the man. 

He had doubtless, under one view, an ancestry. 
He was born of a thoughtful race, a people calm, 
contained, meditative, readily given to withdrawal from 
the outer, dwelling in solitudes, sitting rapt in most 
absorbing and subtle contemplation, such as the world 
has never seen before or since. Life, a perpetual 
change, a dream, an illusion ; the seen the unreal, 
and the real, if anywhere, in the unseen; exist- 
ence a road of births, no end to them, no limit 
to the limitations, transmigration of the soul forever, 
this was a part of the prevailing faith, religion of 
saint and Brahman. Into such beliefs Gautama was 
born, and they must have made at the beginning a 
deep impression upon his susceptible nature, one 
that perhaps he never to the end outgrew. He was 
conceived in their atmosphere, and they entered the 
fibre of his nerves, his soul was charged with them. 
"There never was," says M. Miiller, "a nation 
believing so firmly in another world, and so little 
concerned about this. " * 

* "The divinely wise rest, never more to wander, in Brahma. 
When the wise have attained at man (self, soul) then are they satisfied in 


But -though we can see something of the ante- 
cedents, and find a genealogy, we cannot from them 
account for him. History will not explain him. 
He came a Melchisedek, without father or mother, 
born from the bosom of the eternities. In that soul 
dwelt the infinite, deep sense of the everlasting, 
conscious of its origin and home, and intense yearn- 
ing to return and rest there. He was of very 
thoughtful turn, in his early boyhood, as we saw, 
withdrawing himself from companions, that he might 
alone contemplate, retiring into groves and solitudes, 
that he might hold communion with unseen. Ecsta- 
tic hours seem to have visited him ; he recalled 
with utmost fondness in after years the vision he had 
seen in the gardens of Lumbini. The spectacles of 
life wrought their deep impression on him. This tran- 
sience, never an instant of rest, this ssvift maturing and 
decay of the physical being, life but a confiscation. 

knowledge, their being is complete, their desires are past away, they 
are at repose, attaining to the ail-pervading Nature, they go them- 
selves into the supreme All, sinking their soul therein. As rivers 
flowing to ocean disappear in it, lose their name and form, so merges 
the wise, emancipated from name and form, into the supreme eternal 
Spirit. Who knows the supreme Brahma, is himself Brahma , he 
lays aside all sorrow and sin ; freed from the bonds of corporeity, he 
is immortal. Who knows the One, is delivered from birth into other 
worlds, and from death." From the Upanishads, as given by Wuttke, 
Gcschichte des ffeidfjit/ntttis, II., p. 399. 


a flash in the air, a moment of speech, and the 
long eternity of silence behind it, before it ; the 
earth the grave of all, and it in turn destined to 
its grave ; no stability, no permanence anywhere 
why, what an illusion, what a void it is! Why 
must it be that all flesh decays and melts away, 
the bloom of youth, the vigor of age but a rose- 
blossom, open and gone ere we can see it well ? 
Alas, alas, what has man to do with pleasure; he is 
the dream of a dream, the sport of shadows. This 
thought of the transience, this spectacle of decay and 
swift vanishing away seems to have filled and haunted 
his mind. He could not solve the mystery of this 
fate ; he became indifferent, renunciant, dwelling only 
on the death, uncaring for aught in life or the world 
of the seen. 

It was, as we know, a mistake, but was it a strange 
or unnatural mistake, considering the antecedents and 
surroundings, considering his temperament, the venous 
blood so predominant, and considering, withal, the 
deep sobriety of his nature, that intense longing for 
substance and stay? There are minds absorbed in 
the sense, all engrossed with appearance and show, 
fleeting illusion. The multitudes in all ages are 
prevailingly such. There are, on the other hand, 
those, few in any age, who dissolve and annihilate 
the seen, resting only in unchanging and unseen. 


Time with them is a shadow, earth and life but a 
mirage, an illusion ; the objects the multitudes long 
for and eagerly grasp, are not the boon ; the Nirvana 
is other, is beyond. 

Such a mind, and that preeminently, was Buddha. 
Early he bethought him of the problem set for work- 
ing, early he resolved that it should be done. The 
deliverance should be wrought, the world of perma- 
nence, though it should come by renunciation, destruc- 
tion of all worlds, should be found. He dedicated 
himself to that sublime task, and how he started, 
did and sacrificed, we somewhat know. In his 
childhood years, as would seem, there came to him 
the elemental riddle of being, the contradiction and 
towering mystery of existence, this fact of individu- 
ation, the dropping of the soul, spark of infinity, in 
the world of time. From this individuation, this 
limiting within the bounds of person, diremption of 
the world away from me so that there is a some- 
what not myself, not mine, or rather there is a 
higher, in which me, and not me, are not yet 
dissolved, absorbed, sublimated from this comes 
our want and thirst, the perpetual reaching forth 
and struggle. 

We have a little of the form in which he put it. 
"Here is lack, sorrow," said he, "perpetual through 
life ; it comes of our affections ; these affections from 


our individuation,* our limitations, from the fact that 
there is an outside, something not ourselves, and that 
we do not possess. We must close the chasm, 
extinguish the want, bridge the abyss, so that there 
shall be no without to this within, no lack of its 
possession, ere we can arrive at the supreme felicity.' 7 
These are in substance, as we take it, his ''sublime 
verities " on which so much disquisition has been 
had. They occupied, it is said, almost the entire 
time of the first Council, held immediately after his 
death, and they have certainly been the theme of 
much speculation since. 

1. There is pain, sorrow in the world. 

2. This comes of the desires, of lack and of sin. 

3. This pain may cease by Nirvana. 

4. There is a way that leads thither. 

This, too (the way), he puts under eight heads 
or parts. In substance they are the doctrine of 
perfect poise, of ethereal recognition and steady dwell- 
ing therein. " Right view/' he says, seeing all things 
as they are, nothing less, nothing more. This properly 

* la the "Heart Sutra" in Chinese, it is said, "The nature of 
man and his reason were originally one and undivided ; simply by 
reason of covetous desire his true nature was perverted, and the six 
modes of migrational existence, and the four kinds of birth were intro- 
duced into the world." Quoted by Beal, p. 281. 


covers the whole ground ; the other points are but 
more specific designations or applications. Among 
them are "right, language," or perfect truthfulness, 
veracity, abhorring all falsehood or pretense; "right 
ends;" "right methods" nothing unlawful in the 
pursuit; "right remembrance" reading aright and 
treasuring for life and strength all the past, communing 
with its reality; and "right meditation" considering 
well, keeping the height, remaining apart from all 
illusion and intoxication. These truths he saw in 
vision under the tree at Bodhimanda, and they enrap- 
tured his soul ; he felt that he could well say that 
he was now alive, he saw, he w r as wide awake. 

On the pedestal of most of the statues of the saint 
to-day is inscribed this passage: "It is Tathagata (he 
who has traveled the same route as the preceding 
Buddhas), who has explained the cause of all effects 
proceeding from anterior cause ; it is the great Sra 1 - 
mana likewise who has explained the cessation of these 
effects." Conjoined with this is a very sacred sentence 
in the eyes of all Buddhists, found by Csoma de 
Koros frequently repeated in the canonical books of 
Thibet, and recurring often in the Singhalese Sutras, 
regarded as a kind of resume of the whole doctrine : 
"To abstain from all sin, to practice constantly all 
virtue, and hold perfect mastery of one's self this 
was the inculcation of the Awakened. 


The ethical code corresponds to this spirit. There 
are five great commandments enjoined upon all : 

1. Thou shalt not kill. 

2. Thou shalt not steal. 

3. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

4. Thou shalt not speak untruth. 

5. Thou shalt not take any intoxicating drink. * 

Additional and more special commands were laid 
upon those who took the vows and embraced the 
monastic life ; commands touching diet, sleeping, 
dress, social intercourse, retirement to forests, ceme- 

* " This law is broken by even letting fall upon the tongue only 
such a drop of intoxicating liquor as would hang at the end of a blade 
of Thaman grass, if it is known to be intoxicating. Buddhagoshd 's 
Parables ', Rogers' Translation. 

Somewhat differently is the code given by Mrs. Leonowens, as 
held by the Buddhists in Siam. Every one of the commandments 
would seem to be for universal application. They are as follows : 
(The first five, it will be seen, are substantially identical with those 

1. " From the meanest insect, up to man, thou shalt kill no ani- 
mal whatsoever. 

2. Thou shalt not steal. 

3. Thou shalt not violate the wife of another, nor his concubine. 

4. Thou shalt speak no word that is false. 

5. Thou shalt not drink wine, nor anything that may intoxicate. 

6. Thou shalt avoid all anger, hatred and bitter language. 

7. Thou shalt not indulge in idle and vain talk. 

8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods. 

9. Thou shalt not harbor envy, nor pride, nor revenge, nor malice, 
nor the desire of thy neighbor's death or misfortune. 

10. Thou shalt not follow the doctrines of false gods." 

English Governess, etc., pp. 185, 186. 


teries, etc. They were to wear only the poorest of 
garments, which they must make with their own 
hands, having always the yellow vesture or cloak, 
symbol "of their profession; to live solely upon alms: 
never to receive silver or gold ; never to sleep under 
roofs, except in the inclement portions of the year ; 
alvrays to take plain food, and never eat more than 
very slightly, if at all after mid-day. 

There are six virtues that are for all men, and 
though they may not lead absolutely to Nirvana, 
they will put all on the road thither. Charity, 
purity, patience, courage, contemplation and know- 
ledge. In practicing these "we quit the dark shores 
of existence, where is ignorance." Buddha came for 
self-sacrifice, by surrendering himself, to save the 
world. All who follow him must tread in these 
footprints. The charity and love must extinguish 
from the heart all egoism, so fill with spirit of devo- 
tion the possessor, that he surrenders himself utterly, 
forgetting everything personal, his own existence ven, 
to save others. The highest sobriety and integrity 
in living are enjoined. All evil speaking, any gross- 
ness of language or empty, frivolous word is strictly 
forbidden. The saint must seek not farther to divide 
and embroil, but to reconcile those who are apart. 
Harmony is his aim, bringing people together. Words 
sweet, affectionate, grateful, reaching the heart ; never 


a syllable spoken lightly or at random, all with a 
purpose, and to the purpose. 

One of the virtues specially emphasized was humil- 
ity. "I do not say to my disciples," declared 
Buddha to King Prasenajit, his friend, when requested 
to perform some miracles to confound his enemies, 
"Go, and before the Brahmans and householders 
work by aid of supernatural power miracles greater 
than man can do, but instructing them in the law 
I say, Live, O saints, hiding your good works and 
showing your sins."* 

So one of the old legends reports that a poor 
man, with a single handful of flowers, heaped the 
alms-bowl of Buddha, which the rich, with fen thou- 
sand bushels, could not fill. And another says that 
upon a time when very many lamps were kindled 
in honor of Buddha, one only that brought by a 
very poor woman burned through the night, while 
the others, presented by kings, ministers, etc., were 
spent and went out.f 

A prominent doctrine with the Buddhists has 
throughout been Karma, doctrine of retribution, 

* Burnouf, Inlrod. p. 170. 

f Koeppen, I., 131, quoting from a Chinese work, Foe Koue A7, 
translated by Remusat, and from a Thibetan, Le Sage et Le Fou, 
translated by Foucaux. 



present state and fortune retributive upon past, and 
future the sanction of all the present. Every act 
has endless result, takes hold constantly upon the 
forever. What we are and now experience is the 
fruit of what we have been, and what we shall be 
depends upon what we do, or refrain from doing 
now. The present existence of each, his condition, 
is the written record, the cumulative result of his past. 

"Each house displays the kind and worth 
Of the desires I loved before." 

So the Buddhist draws lessons of wisdom, keeps 
unbroken patience and poise in all his experience ; 
every calamity, every indignity or wrong offered him 
speaks of some desert, reminds him of some behavior 
in the past, ages back perhaps, whereby he has laid 
himself open to this and made it inevitable. Great 
sacredness invests the present, for if he is ever to 
attain Buddhahood, approach Nirvana, he must live 
very superiorly every moment here. So liberty and 
fate coexist, interpenetrate ; fate behind us, around us, 
present here, liberty before us, and fate sealing every 
act with its eternal sanctions. 

The doctrine of transmigration is a very old one, 
and has doubtless deep truth in nature. The soul 
is traveling the road of birth, and is on the endless 
ascent. It has passed through many lives, it has 



many more in store. Modern science tells us in 
more prosaic dialect the same thing which ancient 
Greek and Oriental fancy had said, in its fine way, 
that the soul journeys from monad to God. Bud- 
dha had percurred the existences. In one account 
he is said to have gone through 550 lives ; he had 
been bird, stag, elephant, etc., before he took on 
incarnation as son of Suddhodana. Others say he 
had been through all the existences of earth, sea and 
air, had traversed every condition of all the ages. 
On the point of becoming Buddha, the Awakened, 
he had seen in recollection the innumerable births 
and lives he had passed, covering the hundreds of 
thousands of kotis (a koti, 10,000,000 years). He 
was in consequence of this experience in condition 
to enter into the sympathies of all creatures, and all 
worlds, for whose redemption he must devote himself 
and labor. 

His biographers remark with astonishment that a 
man who seems so thoroughly to renounce the world 
and all the relations of life, should have laid the 
emphasis he did on the domestic and social virtues. 
But indeed the account he makes of the ethical 
element, the strong insistence he lays upon high 
character, should have told any good observer as 
much, convinced him there indubitably was life and 
healthfulness in this faith. The duties of the house- 


hold, the family relations, we are informed, he put in 
the first rank.* Personally he showed himself ever 
full of respect and tenderness towards his mother, 
although he had never seen her. The legends repre- 
sent him as taking great interest in her behalf, 
visiting that portion of the skies where she dwells, 
to instruct her in the law and to save her. In one 
of the Sutras he is reported as speaking thus : 

" Brahma, O saints, where is he? In the families 
where father and mother are perfectly honored, ven- 
erated, served. For, according to the Law, father 
and mother are for the child in the family, Brahma 
himself. The teacher, O saints he is in the fam- 
ilies where father and mother are perfectly honored, 
venerated, served. For, according to the Law, father 
and mother are for the child teacher himself. 

"The altar of sacrifice,! the shrine of worship it 
is in the families where father and mother are perfectly 
honored, venerated, served. Why this ? Because, 
according to the Law, father and mother are for the 
child altar and shrine itself." J If this be an incon- 

*St. Hilaire, p. 91. 

f Literally, "the fire of sacrifice," a fine allusion to the Brahman - 
ical worship. The sacred fire was kindled upon the hearth, and upon 
it was offered the clarified butter to the god. See Burnouf 's Introd. , 

p. 21. 

\ Burnouf, pp. 133, 134. 


sistency in Buddhism, it is, as Barthelemy St, Hilaire 
says, one that does it honor. 

It is a great thing, he declares, that parents do 
for their children, in rearing them, giving them food, 
protection, acquaintance, so far as possible for them 
to afford, with the sights, the facts of the world about 
them. ' ' Whereby can they repay this care ? By 
doing what they may to enrich them spiritually, by 
establishing them in the perfectness of the faith, if 
they have it not ; by bringing them to the perfectness 
of morality, if they have bad morals ; of liberality, 
if they are the creatures of avarice ; of knowledge, 
if they are in ignorance." 

So in the rules laid down for the priests, we find 
the most minute directions, even in regard to diet, 
the manner of eating, etc. The priest is always to 
approach and partake of his food in a poised, con- 
siderate, thoughtful spirit, eating possessedly, never 
with the least eagerness or greed, "no mouthful 
larger than a pigeon's egg," and each to be thor- 
oughly masticated and disposed of before another is 
taken. At the present time the requirement upon 
the priest in Ceylon is that he shall rise each 
morning before day, and the first duty that calls him 
is care of his person, cleansing his teeth, etc. The 
duty of neatness in all respects, both with regard to 
the body itself and the clothing worn, is sedulously 


enjoined, and well observed. Only with the clean 
body and the clean garments, they say, can be the 
clean mind. "When the lamp, the oil or the wick 
is not free from dirt, the light that is given is not 
clear ; in like manner, when the mind is unclean, 
the truths necessary to be known cannot be discov- 
ered, and the rites of asceticism cannot be properly 
exercised. But when the body is clean, the mind 
partakes of the same purity ; as the lamp, oil and 
wick, when free from dirt, give a clear light." * 

The breadth and elevation of the man are indi- 
cated in the fact that he relied solely to the end upon 
the moral element, seeking no conquests but by 
persuasion. Related, as he was, to courts, finding 
favor with kings, he might, in the midst of the 
conflicts which came, have invoked the arm of civil 
power, and there was beyond doubt temptation that 
way. His enemies, the Brahrrians, plotted against 
his life, and it would have been so natural to resist 
by force and throttle the conspiracies, but the thought 
seems never to have been entertained for a moment. 
The weapons were not carnal, but spiritual. Then 
and to this hour, so far as we can definitely learn, 
Buddhism was the exception, sole in all history. It 

* Hardy's Eastern Monachism, p. 113, quoted from the Wisudhi 
Margga Sanne. 


stands as the only great historic religion that has not, 
upon opportunity taken the sword to put down its 
enemies. That a faith so born and conditioned 
as this was, and overtaken at length by such cruel 
fortune in the land of its birth, should never have 
soiled its hands with violence, never have lifted the 
arm in resistance to persecution and extermination, 
deserves to be remembered and recorded to its ever- 
lasting honor. 

Buddha's method was not negative, but affirmative. 
He sought the desired change not so much by direct 
attack, criticising and condemning, as by holding up 
the standard, presenting its beauty, and attempting to 
incite and ravish all in the ideal presence. Every 
one of the abuses of the time he sought to over- 
throw by the affirmative. He would destroy by 
supplanting, overrunning and choking out by the 
better. His way was to overcome evil with good, 
hatred with love ; he knew no power for transform- 
ation so fine as this ; nay, he took account of no 

The records preserved to us in the legendary tales 
of the saints show to us a courage and fortitude 
such as belong only to earnest times, found with a 
people who inly believe and are dedicated to an idea. 

Purna was the son of an emancipated slave woman, 
set free by her master, at her own earnest solicit- 


ation. He was reared in the paternal household, 
and distinguished himself early by his intelligence and 
sleepless activity. He acquired in trade great wealth, 
and enriched his family also. He went frequently 
upon long voyages for trade, and became erewhile 
the head of a band of merchants who carried on this 
foreign commerce. Upon one of these voyages he 
had as companions some merchants from Sravasti, 
who night and morning engaged in the reading of 
sacred hymns, invocations ' ' which bear to the other 
shore," and sacred texts words from the lips of 
Buddha. He was struck by these novel utterances, 
and soon as he came to Sravasti he repaired to 
Bhagavat, and embraced the new faith that so touched 
his heart. Dead now to the world, he wished to 
take up his abode henceforth with a fierce, savage 
tribe, whose ferocities would have frightened any 
courage less great than his. The teacher inclines 
to dissuade him from his purpose. 

"The men of Sronaparanta are passionate, cruel, 
violent. When they shall give thee harsh, threaten- 
ing words, when they shall be in rage against thee, 
what wilt thou think ? " 

"If the men of Sronaparanta do this," was the 
reply, "if they become mad and assail me, I will say, 
Good men, fine men, they are of Sronaparanta, who 
do not strike me with the hand, nor pelt with stones." 


"But if they strike and pelt thee, what wilt thou 
think ? " 

"I shall think they are good and fine that they 
do not take my life." 

"But if they deprive thee of life, what wilt thou?" 

"I shall still think they are good and fine, in 
that they free me with so little pain from this body 
full of filth." 

"It is well, Puma ; thou mayest, with that per- 
fection of patience which thou hast attained, fix thine 
abode in the country of the Sronaparantakas. Go, 
then, O Purna, thyself delivered, deliver; consoled, con- 
sole; having reached the other shore, attained complete 
Nirvana, conduct others thither."* The legend adds 
that Purna went to this redoubtable country, and by 
his noble spirit of patience and of love, he softened 
and subdued the savage people, teaching them the 
Law and the methods of deliverance. 

Another legend gives us an account of Kunala, 
with the beautiful eyes. He was the son of King 
Asoka. Queen Rishya Rakshita, ravished with the 
beauty of the youth, attempted, after the manner of 
Potiphar's wife, to seduce him. He repelled her 
advances with scorn and rebuke, and the queen 
resolved upon vengeance. Sent by his father to a 

* Burnouf, Introd. pp. 252-254. St. Hilaire, Bouddha, pp. 96, 97, 


distant province of the empire to subdue a revolted 
city, he was working with all success, bringing back 
the disaffected, and winning the love of all, when 
there came a mandate, under the king's seal, order- 
ing that both his eyes be torn out. The queen 
had in consideration of some signal service done the 
king, in way of subduing a most troublesome and 
loathsome disease, obtained possession of the supreme 
power for a short space, and had this opportunity to 
gratify her malice against the prince. It was hard 
to find an executioner for an office so inhuman, not 
a Kandala even consenting to serve. A deformed 
leper was at length found to undertake it. Kunala 
submitted himself resignedly, for, he said, the wise 
teachers who had instructed him, had well taught the 
perishable character of all earthly things, and the eyes 
themselves had done him this service, that they had 
shown him that nothing abides. 

One of the eyes was torn out, and at his request 
placed in his hand. The crowd shrieked with horror. 
Kunala, handling the eye, exclaimed, "Wherefore 
seest thou no more, as thou hast been wont, vile 
globe of flesh ? How self-deceived and pitiable they 
are, the insensate, who fasten to thee, saying, ' This 
is myself. ' " The second eye was wrested out like 
the first, and Kunala, who had lost the eyes of 
sense, had opened within him the eyes of the soul. 


"The eye of flesh," he said, "has just been taken 
away, but I have acquired eyes more perfect, fine 
and pure, eyes of wisdom. Cast off by the king, I 
am become son of the great king of the Law, whose 
child I am called. Deprived of earthly sovereignty, 
which brings with it so many troubles and sorrows, 
I have gained sovereignty in the kingdom of the 
soul, where trouble and sorrow are taken away." 

The prince, the story proceeds, wandered from 
place to place, led by his young wife, who chanted 
in the ears of those she met, his misfortunes and his 
consolations. He arrived at length at the palace of 
his father, who on learning the cause of his affliction, 
resolved to punish the queen with death. Kunala 
interceded for her, and saved her ; took upon him- 
self alone all responsibility for his misfortune, which 
he said had doubtless come by reason of some fault 
committed in previous existence.* 

Another legend runs on this wise : Vasavadatta 
was a courtesan at Mathura, very famous for her 
fascinations. Her servant, in buying her perfumes, 
etc., was wont to deal with a young merchant named 
Upagupta. "My child," said she, "it seems that 
this young man delights you very much, since you 
always purchase of him." "My master's daughter," 

* Burnouf, p. 403-413. 


replied the servant, " Upagupta is very beautiful, very 
gifted and sweet, and he spends his life in observ- 
ance of the Law." The words awakened in Vasa- 
vadatta a passionate desire for Upagupta, and she ere 
long sent out her servant to say, "I mean to come 
and find you; I desire to have love with you." 
Upagupta responded, "The time is not yet for me 
to see you." She thought his refusal was on account 
of lack of money to pay her price, and sent again 
and said, ' ' I ask of you not a single karshapana, I 
only wish to be with you." Upagupta returned the 
same response as before. 

Some time after, Vasavadatta assassinated one of 
her lovers, that she might surrender herself without 
obstruction from his jealousy, to a rich merchant that 
sought her. Her crime became known, and the 
king of Mathura ordered that, as a punishment, her 
hands, feet, ears and nose should be cut off, and 
she, mutilated thus, be abandoned in the cemetery. 
Upon hearing of this, Upagupta said, "When she went 
about covered with fine ornaments, richest jewels, it 
was not well that one who seeks enfranchisement 
and escape from the law of birth should see her. 
But now that, mutilated by the sword, she has come 
to the end of her pride and her joys, it is fitting 
to visit her." Vasavadatta saw him approaching, 
and covering up and concealing as much as she 

100 BUDDHA. 

could her unsightly person from view, she accosts 
him : ' ' Son of my master, when my body was sweet 
as the flower of the lotus, adorned with all wealth 
and splendor of attire, whatever could attract and intox- 
icate, I could not, alas, draw you to my side. But 
now you come to view a form whose sight no one 
can endure, abandoned of pleasure and of beauty, 
inspiring only aversion, begrimed with blood and 
filth." "My sister/' he responded, "formerly! did 
not come to you, drawn, as I might have been, by 
sensuous love ; but now I come that I may know 
and feel the true character of the pitiful objects in 
which people take delight." Then, the relation tells 
us, he comforted Vasavadatta, instructing her in the 
Law, bringing peace to the soul of the unfortunate. 
She died, making profession of faith in Buddha, 
"to have resurrection erewhile in the realm of the 
gods.''* "For the sake of a celestial nymph," said 
Rathapala, the Brahman, when remonstrated with by , 
his wife for having left all, "have I abandoned the 
world. ' ' 

Ananda, most beloved disciple, cousin to Buddha, 
weary and very thirsty one day from a long journey, 
approached a well, where he saw a young Matangi 
girl drawing, and asked her to give him to drink. 

* St. Hilaire, pp. 100-102. 


The maiden, fearing to pollute him by her touch, 
reminded him of her caste (she was of the Kandalas, 
the lowest, the outcast) ; and that it was unlawful 
for her to come near a saint. ' ' I asked thee, my 
sister, neither of thy caste nor of thy family, but only 
for water," was^the reply. In like spirit is the reply 
of a Buddhist saint in recent time who had come 
under the displeasure of a king in Ceylon, for having 
preached to the miserable and despised caste of 
Rhodias. "Religion," he responded, " should be the 
common boon of all." 

Here we are tempted to introduce the legend of 
Kisagotami. It is in Buddhagosha s Parables, and 
has been admirably reproduced by Max Miiller, in 
his lecture on Buddhist Nihilism. 

Kisagotami bore a son. When the boy was able 
to walk by himself, he died. The young mother, 
in her love for it, bore the corpse about, from house 
to house, seeking some one that should heal it. She 
was recommended to apply to Buddha, who, she was 
assured, had some medicine that would help. She 
applied to the saint, and was told that he required 
as a condition a handful of mustard seed, mustard 
seed obtained from a house where no son, husband, 
parent or slave has died. She sought from house 
to house, still carrying the dead body of her son, 
but everywhere in vain. People said to her, "The 

102 BUDDHA. 

living are few, but the dead are "many." She began 
at length to think, "This is a heavy task that I 
am engaged in ; I am not the only one whose son 
is dead. In all the Savatthi country, everywhere 
children are dying; parents are dying." Casting 
away the dead body of her child in a forest, she 
repaired to Buddha and reported the result of her 
search. Buddha said, "You thought that you alone 
had lost a son ; the law of death is that among 
all living creatures, there is no permanence." When 
he had finished preaching the Law, Kisagotami was 
established in the reward of a noviciate. 

Some time afterwards, as she was engaged in the 
performance of some religious duties, noticing the 
lights in the houses, now shining, now extinguished, 
she reflected with herself, "My state is like these 
lamps." Buddha, who was not far distant, sent now 
his sacred appearance to her, which said, just as if 
he himself were preaching, "All living beings re- 
semble the flame of these lamps one moment 
lighted, the next extinguished ; those only who have 
arrived at Nirvana "are at rest." Kisagotami hearing 
this/ we are told, "reached the stage of a saint pos- 
sessed of intuitive knowledge." 

f The thing is so beautifully told in a little poem, 
lately written by Mr. Chad wick (Rev. John W. ), that 
we append that here. 


Kisagotami saw her first child's face ; 

She saw him grow in knowledge and in grace, 

But it was only for a little space. 

Kisagotami saw him lying dead ; 

Against her heart she pressed his curly head, 

And forth into the neighbors' houses sped. 

"Something to heal my darling's hurt," she cried. 
"Girl, thou art mad," was all that each replied. 
But one: "Thy cure with Buddha doth abide." 

Still holding the dead child against her heart, 

She found the prophet and made known her smart : 

" Buddha, canst thou cure him with thy wondrous art?" 

" A grain of mustard seed," the sage replied, 
"Found where none old or young has ever died, 
Will cure the pain you carry in your side." 

Kisagotami wandered forth again, 

And in the homes of many hundred men 

She sought the seed where death had never been. 

'Twas all in vain. Then in a lonely wood 
Her child with leaves she buried as she could, 
And once again in Buddha's presence stood. 

"Daughter," he said, "hast found the magic seed?" 
And she : " I find that every heart doth bleed, 
That every house, of death hath taken heed." 

Then Buddha said: "This knowledge is thy cure. 
Thy sorrow, soon or late, for all is sure ; 
Therefore, my child, be patient and endure." 

In the Daily Manual for the Shaman, in Chinese, 
we have an inculcation of observances, which shows 
that, originally at least, there was recognition of the 

104 BUDDHA. 

grand symbolism that runs through all life, and an 
earnest effort to lift the spirit to communion on that 
exalted plane. Every act was to be made symbolic 
and sacramental, the eating and the drinking, the 
washing, putting on of garments, etc., had meaning, 
signified far more than the sense. Life itself must 
be made aspiration and a prayer, vision and a psalm. 
On awaking in the morning, let the Shaman 
recite this Gatha : 

" On first awaking from my sleep, 
I ought to pray that every breathing thing 
May wake to saving wisdom, vast 
As the wide and boundless universe." 

On hearing the convent bell : 
" Oh ! may the music of this bell extend throughout the 

mystic world, 
And, heard beyond the iron walls and gloomy glens of 


Produce in all a perfect rest, and quiet every care, 
And guide each living" soul to lose itself in Mind Su- 

On rising out of bed : 
" On putting down my foot and standing up, 

Oh ! let me pray that every living soul 

May gain complete release of mind and self, 
And so, in perfect Rest, stand up unmoved !" 
" From earliest dawn till setting sun, 

Each living soul might tend to self-advance, 

Reflecting thus : ' My foot firm planted on the earth, 

Should make me think, am I 

Advancing on my road to Heaven ?' " 


On putting on the clothes : 

" On binding on the sash, I pray 
That every living soul may closely bind 
Each virtuous principle around himself, 
And never loosen it or let it go." 

On washing the face : 

"As thus I wash my face, I pray 
That every living soul may gain 
Religious knowledge, which admits 
Of no defilement, through eternity." 

On entering within the sacred precincts : 
41 Beholding the figure of Buddha, 
I pray that every living thing, 
Acquiring sight without defect, 
May gaze upon the form of 'all the Buddhas.' " 
[z. e., enjoy "beatific vision."] * 

There is a trace of childish ceremonialism here 
(and we should see the more if we followed this 
Manual out in all its details), which easily grows* 
to superstition and a juggle, but the thought lying 
at the bottom is very fine, and provided the recog- 
nition could be kept sweet and fresh, untainted with; 
formalism, free of any. set observance, spontaneous,, 
living, nothing could be more healthful and beauti- 
ful. The dangers of asceticism and cant, of other- 
worldliness, are about as formidable as those of 
absorption and degradation in this world. When 

* Real's Catena, pp. 240-243. 

106 BUDDHA. 

we have eyes fully open, we shall see all washing 
baptismal, nay, every contact, every experience puri- 
fying and quickening ; sunlight, air, scenery, faces, 
conversation sacred elements of healing and strength 
for the soul. Then that which is in part only 
shall be done away, and the sacraments of the 
church be superseded, fall obsolete in the larger, 
comprehending sacraments of life. The open eye, 
too, will see the incarnations, and commune in the 
visible, perpetually with invisible. 

The Sutras or discourses ascribed to Buddha, are 
of uncertain time and authorship, but nevertheless 
contain declarations not a little remarkable, and not 
unworthy to be attributed to the master. Like 
Jesus, he uses parables. 

In the " Lotus of the good Law" he gives his 
view of the method which the wise teacher and great 
Nature herself employs to convey truth to man, and 
to arouse and incite him from his torpor. 

An old man, father of a family, finds, as he 
returns home from abroad, his house on fire. The 
children are sleeping, totally unconscious of the danger, 
the sure death that is upon them. He calls to them, 
in vain ; they see not the fire, and will not believe 
they are in any danger. He promises them fine toys ; 


above all, three different kinds of carriages, to amuse 
and delight. They leave the house, and once safe, 
he gives them not the three not the carriages at 
all, but a chariot, splendid beyond description. 
"Has the father told them a lie? No, doubtless, but 
has fulfilled more than his word. So Tathagata, 
pitying the frivolity of men, who before the impend- 
ing sorrows and calamities, are sporting and pursuing 
their pleasures, in accommodation to their weakness, 
promises them, in order to break the chains of their 
slavery, three 'vehicles of deliverance,' or, so many 
several objects of incitement and desire, to win them. 
Taken, as the children in the burning house, with 
the prize offered, they leave their attachment to the 
worlds, and Tathagata gives them but one conveyance, 
the method of reaching perfect Nirvana." 

Upon the hearing of this parable, it is said, four 
of the disciples who were present, responded with an- 
other, in which they compared the race of man much 
to a prodigal, who, leaving the house of a rich and 
generous father, wandered over the world, and at 
length came back all unconsciously to the old home. 
He had lost the remembrance of his father, but by- 
and-by, after many and severe experiences, he comes 
to know him again, embraces, obeys him, and enters 
upon his lost possession. 

Bhagavat gave other parables; this, for one. A 

108 BUDDHA. 

man, blind from birth, denied that there were colors, 
or sun, or stars, or beauty or deformity, or beholders 
for them. Against all persuasion he resisted the 
belief, until a certain skillful physician gave him sight. 
He was in transports of ecstasy, acknowledging his 
blindness and ignorance hitherto, and exclaiming that 
now he saw arid knew all. But the wise Rishis, 
observing in him a blindness still, which was more 
harmful than the other, sought to purge him of his 
conceit. "There are worlds far beyond the reach 
of thy present organs. Sitting in the house, thou 
canst not see through the walls, the thoughts of thy 
fellows thou canst not read, thine own begetting, thy 
conception and birth thou canst not recall. How 
sayest thou, 'I know all?' Remember that clearness 
is obscurity, and the obscurities shall be seen clear." 
Ashamed for his presumption and conceit, he com- 
mitted himself for instruction in the Law to the 
Rishis, and the eyes of his soul were opened, as 
those of sense had lately been by the physician. 

Such are the hints richly scattered in these dis- 
courses, of the ethereal ideas, the truths of the upper 



AVIONG so many words afloat ascribed to the saint, 
it is impossible to tell what are authentically his, 
but there is one portion of the Buddhistic Canon, a 
little book called the Dhammapadam, or Footprints of 
the Law, whose sentences are considered with great 
probability to be from his lips. It was found in 
Ceylon not many years since, written in the Pali 
language * (the Pali was the popular language of 
Magadha), and was published, with Latin translation, 
by Doctor Fausboll, at Copenhagen, in 1855. Por- 
tions of it were also rendered into English by D. J. 
Gogerly, a missionary (in the Ceylon Friend, 1840,), 

* The Buddhist scriptures seem to have been written the main 
portions of them at least originally both in Sanscrit (which in the 
time of Buddha and probably one or two hundred years before him 
had ceased to be a spoken language) and in Pali. The originals of 
the texts which are held by the Thibetans and Chinese are nearly all 
in .the former, the originals in possession of the Singhalese, Birmese, 
etc., are in the latter. Consult Burnouf, Introd. pp. 15, 16 ; Koeppen, 
I., p. 186. 

110 BUDDHA. 

and the whole has recently appeared in English, from 
the accomplished pen of Prof. Max Miiller.* The 
inculcations in that book are of the noblest ; there 
is trace of the morbid element, of disparagement and 
renunciation, such as one finds in all Buddhism, but 
there are exalted views of duty, ethical precepts that 
fall not below the New Testament standard. We 
give here some of them as samples, only adding that 
those who wish to find more must refer to the little 
volume itself. The rendering is taken mostly from 
Fausboll or Max Miiller, in a few instances, from 

1. Mind is the root ; actions proceed from the mind. 
If any one speak or act from a corrupt mind, suffering 
will follow, as the wheel follows the step of the ox that is 

2. Mind is the root, etc. If any one speak or act with 
an elevated pure mind, then joy follows like an unwith- 
drawing shadow. 

3. " He insulted me, assailed me, beat me, despoiled 
me," cherishing these things in the spirit, ill feeling is not 

4. "He insulted me, assailed me," etc., by refusing to 
harbor remembrance of this in the spirit, ill feeling is al- 

f Published by Trilbner & Co., with Buddha go s ha 1 s Parables, 
London, 1869, and reprinted since by Scribner & Co., in this country, 
with Prof. Miiller's Lectures on the Science of Religion, New York, 


5. For hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love ; this 
is the everlasting law. 

6. Persons do not reflect, we shall speedily die. If any 
do thus reflect, their quarrels speedily terminate. 

7. Whoso lives, regarding the sensuous delights, put- 
ting no restraint upon inclination, knowing not moderation 
in eating, indolent and without force, Mara, temptation, 
shall easily overcome him, as the wind the slightly rooted 

8. Whoso lives, not regarding the sensuous delights, 
restraining inclination, knowing to be moderate in eating, 
faithful, strong, temptation will be powerless against him, 
as the wind against the rocky mountain. 

10. Who casts aside his appetites, who keeps armed 
with the virtues, well endowed with temperance and in- 
tegrity he indeed is worthy of the yellow garment. 

11. Who deem the non-substantial substance, and the 
substantial without substance, they shall never attain 
reality, being full of vain desires. 

12. But those who hold substance for substance, and 
unsubstantial for unsubstantial, they attain the real, being 
filled with true desires. 

13. As the rain breaks through an ill-thatched roof, so 
passion invades the thought destitute of reflection. 

15. The evil doer mourns in this world, and he shall 
mourn in the next ; in both worlds has he sorrow. He 
grieves, he is tormented, seeing the ill of his deed. 

16. The virtuous man rejoices in this world, and he 
will rejoice in the next; in both worlds has he joy. He 
rejoices, he exults, seeing the purity of his deed. 

19. A man slothful, saying many good things but not 
doing them, is like a herdsman, counting the kine of others, 
but owning none. 

21. Watchfulness is the path of immortality, slothful- 

112 BUDDHA. 

ness the way of death. The watchful die not ; the slothful 
are as already dead. 

23. These wise people, meditative, steady, always pos- 
sessed of strong powers, attain to Nirvana, the highest 

26. Foolish, senseless men follow sloth. The wise man 
keeps watchfulness as his highest treasure. 

29. Alert among the sluggish, wide awake among the 
last asleep, the wise man advances like a racer leaving be- 
hind the hack. 

31. A Bhikshu (mendicant) who rejoices in watchful- 
ness and fears sloth, moves about like fire, burning all his 
fetters small and large. 

42. Whatever a hater may do to a hater, or an enemy 
to an enemy, a wrongly directed mind will do us greater 

43. Not a mother, not a father will do so much, nor 
any other relative; a well directed mind will do us 
greater service. 

49. As the bee collects nectar and departs without in- 
juring the beauty or the odor of the flower, so the sage 
sojourns among men ; he views their ways, and learns wis- 
dom from their folly. 

54. 55. 56 (condensed). The fragrance of the flower, or 
of sandal wood, or of a bottle of Tagara oil is sweet but 
delicate ; easily arrested by the winds, it is carried whither 
they will. But the fragrance of the good far sweeter, re- 
gardless of winds, breathes over all lands, and exhales to 
the throne ot the gods.* 

58, 59. As the lily, growing from a heap of manure 
accidentally cast upon the highway, delights the soul with 
the delicacy of its fragrance, so the wise, the disciples ot 

*So one of the Upanishads has it: "As the fragrance of a blos- 
soming tree spreads far, so the fragrance of a pure action." 


the all-perfect Buddha, shine amongst the foolish, and are 
grateful to the gods. 

64. If through life the foolish man sits beside the wise, 
he will not taste the law, as the ladle tastes not the soup. 

65. If a discerning man for one moment only sits beside 
the wise, he will quickly taste the law, as the tongue tastes 
the soup. 

71. An evil deed does not turn suddenly like milk ; 
smouldering, it follows the fool, like fire covered by ashes. 

80. Well-makers lead the water (wherever they like) ; 
fletchers bend the arrow ; carpenters bend a log of wood ; 
wise people fashion themselves. 

81. As the solid rock is not stirred by the wind, so 
neither in reproach nor in praise is the wise man moved 
from his poise. 

82. Wise people, hearing the law, become serene, like 
a deep, smooth, still lake. 

85. Few are there among men who attain to the other 
shore ; most only run up and down this. 

89. Those whose mind is well grounded in the elements 
of knowledge, who have given up all attachments and 
rejoice without clinging to any thing, whose frailties have 
been conquered and who are full of light ; they are free 
(even) in this world. 

92. He who has no riches lives' on authorized food, 
communes with the Void, the Unconditioned, with Nirvana, 
his way is difficult to understand, like that of birds in the 

94. He whose senses have come to repose, like a horse 
well subdued by the driver, who has cast aside pride and 
is f r ee from all desire, the gods even envy such an one. 

97. He who is free trom credulity, but knows the 
Uncreated, who has cut all ties, removed all temptations, 
renounced all desire, he certainly is the greatest of men. 

98. In a hamlet or in a forest, in the deep water or on 

114 BUDDHA. 

the dry land, wherever venerable persons dwell, that 
place is delightful. 

99. Forests are delightful; where the multitude finds no 
delight, there the passionless will find delight, for they seek 
not pleasures. 

103. If one man conquer in battle a thousand times 
a thousand men, and if another conquer himself he cer- 
tainly is the greatest of victors. 

104, 105. One's own self conquered is better than all 
other people. Not even a god, a Gandharva, (fairy), not 
Mara can change for such an one (who has conquered 
himself and always restrains himself), victory into defeat. 

114. He who lives a hundred years, not seeing the im- 
mortal place, a life of one day is better if a man sees the 
immortal place. 

121. Let no one make small account of evil, saying, It 
will not come near unto me ; by the falling of drops the 
water-pot is filled, and the foolish man is filled with evil, 
taking it up little by little. 

122. JLet no one make small account of the good, saying, 
It will not benefit me; by the falling of drops the water-pot 
is filled, and the wise man becomes full of good, gathering 
it up little by little. 

123. Let a man avoid evil deeds, as a merchant if he 
carries much wealth and has few companions, avoids a 
dangerous way; as a man who loves life avoids poison. 

125. If a man offend a harmless, pure and innocent per- 
son, the evil falls back upon that fool, like light dust thrown 
against the wind. 

127. Neither in air, nor in the depths of the sea, nor in 
the clefts of the mountains, is any place found where a man 
might be freed from an evil deed. 

133. Uo not speak harshly to any ; those who are 
spoken to will answer thee in the same way. Angry 
speech is painful, blows for blows will touch thee. 


135. As a cowherd with his staff gathers his cows into 
the stable, so do Age and Death gather the life of man, 
(gather all living). 

151. The brilliant chariots of kings are destroyed, the 
body also becomes old and decays, but the virtues of the 
good know not age or decay; thus do the good say to the 

159. Let a man so make himself as he teaches others to 
be ; he who is well subdued may subdue others ; one's own 
self it is difficult to subdue. 

There is no doctrine of commercial substitution 
here, not a shade of our Western dream of atonement 
by vicarious blood. Indeed Spence Hardy, a Wes- 
leyan missionary, many years resident in Ceylon, finds 
this one of the most hopeless things in the prospect 
regarding the conversion of the Buddhists ; they know 
nothing of the salvation by blood; it is so foreign 
to their entire system of religion that there is found 
no place in the Oriental mind whereon to graft such 
a conception. "The Buddhist 'knows nothing of an 
atonement. * * * * In the wilderness to which 
he is driven, no cross does he see. no river of blood, 
no fountain of life, with the cheering words inscribed 
on the rock that overhangs it, ' Whosoever will, let 
him come, and drink freely and live,'" says the 
missionary. Pitiable indeed ! They have the notion, 
these poor pagans, that each must reap the fruit of 
his own doing, and that there is no possible device 


of escape. "He who dies is accompanied only "by 
his merit and demerit ; nothing else whatever goes 
with him/' says Rathapala. 

165. By oneself the evil is done, by oneself one surfers ; 
by oneself evil is left undone, by oneself one is purified. 
Purity and impurity belong to oneself, no one can purify 

276. You yourself must make an effort. The Tatha- 
gatas are but preachers. The thoughtful who enter the 
way are freed from the bondage of Mara. 

175. Swans [wild fowl ?] go on the path of the sun, they 
go through the ether by means of their miraculous power ; 
the wise are borne out of this world, when they have over- 
come Mara and his train. 

193. A miraculous man, a Buddha, not easy to find, is 
not born everywhere. Wherever such a sage is born, that 
race prospers. 

201. Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is un- 
happy. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he, 
the contented, is happy. 

204. Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the 
best riches, trust the best of relatives, Nirvana the sum ot 

219. Kinsfolk, friends and dear ones salute him who, 
tar-traveled, returns home safe : 

220. .So, the good deeds done, welcome him who, going 
from this world, enters the other. 

222. He who holds back rising anger like a rolling 
chariot, him I call a real driver ; the rest do but hold the 

223. By gentleness overcome anger ; by good, evil ; by 
liberality, greed; by openness and truth, dissembling and 



224. Speak the truth ; yield not to anger ; give, when 
asked, of the little thou hast ; by these three steps thou 
shalt go near the gods. 

239. Let a wise man blow off the impurities of his soul, 
as a smith blows off the impurities of silver, one by one, 
little by little and from time to time. 

247. The man who gives up himself to drinking intoxi- 
cating liquors, he, even in this world, digs up his own 

251. There is no fire like lust, no bondage like hatred, 
no toil (snare) like perturbation, no river like desire. 

252. The faults of others are easily seen, one's own 
difficult to see ; others' faults one lays open as much as 
possible, his own he hides, as a cheat hides the bad die 
from the gambler. 

^04. Good people shine from afar, like the snowy moun- 
tains; bad people are not seen, like arrows shot by night. 

354. The gift of the law exceeds all gifts ; the sweetness 
of the law exceeds all sweetness ; the delight in the law 
exceeds all delights ; the extinction of thirst overcomes all 

367. He who never identifies himself with his body and 
soul, and does not grieve over what is no more, he indeed 
is called a Bhikshu (mendicant, saint). 

370. Cut off the five (senses), leave the five, rise above 
the five. A Bhikshu, who has escaped the five fetters, he 
is called Oghatinnas (passed the flood). 

372. Without knowledge there is no meditation, with- 
out meditation there is no knowledge : in whom knowledge 
and meditation are united, he surely is near unto Nirvana. 

377. As the Vassika-plant sheds its withered flowers, 
so, O Bhikshus, shed passion and hatred ! 



385. He for whom there is neither this nor that shore, 
nor both, fearless, unshackled, him I call indeed a Brah- 

386. He who is thoughtful, blameless, dwells alone, does 
his duties, is free from desires, has attained the highest 
end, him I call indeed a Brahmana. 

392. After a man has once understood the Law as 
taught by the Well-awakened, let him worship it carefully, 
as the Brahmana worships the sacrificial fire. 

393. A man does not become a Brahmana by his 
plaited hair, by his family, or by both ; in whom there is 
truth and righteousness, he is blessed, he is a Brahmana. 

398. He who has cut the girdle and the strap, the rope 
with all that pertains to it, he who has burst the bar, and is 
awakened, him I call indeed a Brahmana. 

399. He who, though he has committed no offense, 
endures reproach, bonds and stripes, strong in power of 
endurance, active in its exercise, him I call indeed a 

406. He who is tolerant with the intolerant, mild withf 
fault-finders, free from passion among the passionate, him 

I call indeed a Brahmana. 

407. He from whom anger and hatred, pride and envy 
have dropt like a mustard seed from the point of an awl, 
him I call indeed a Brahmana. 

411. He who has no interests, and when he has under- 
stood (the truth), does not say, How, how? he who can 
dive into the Immortal, him I call indeed a Brahmana. 

*The book is divided into sections called from their subjects, 
"Watchfulness," "Thought," "The Wise Man," "The Fool," 
'The Venerable," "The Way," "The Bhikshu," etc. The last is 
entitled "The Brahmana." 


412. He who is above good and evil, above the bondage 
of both, free from grief, from sin, from impurity, him I 
call indeed a. Brdhmana. 

417. He who, after leaving all bondage to men, has 
risen above all bondage to the gods, who is free from every 
bondage, him I call indeed a Brahmana. 

418. The hero who has conquered all worlds, him I 
call indeed a Br&hmana. 

423. He who knows his former abodes, who sees heaven 
and hell, has reached J:he end of births, is perfect in knowl- 
edge and a sage, whose perfections are all perfect, him I 
call indeed a Brahmana. 

We add here the declaration ascribed to Gautama 
in that great hour when under the tree at Bodhi- 
manda, he attained, as he deemed, full vision, be- 
came Buddha, felt that now he saw, was emanci- 
pate and free. Filled with ecstasies of delight, he 
could not refrain from bursting into rapturous song. 
This is found also in the Dhammapadam* The 
free rendering we give here, measurably a para- 
phrase, but a true one, is from Mr. Alger, as it 
appeared in his interesting volume of selections from 
Oriental Poetry, f 

"A pilgrim through eternity, 
In countless births have I been born, 
And toiled the Architect to see, 
Who builds my soul's live house in scorn. 

* Verses 153, 154. 
f Boston, 1856. 

120 BUDDHA. 

O painful is the road of birth, 
By which from house to house made o'er, 
Each house displays the kind and worth 
Of the desires I loved before. 

Dread Architect ! I now have seen thy face, 

And seized thy precept's law ; 

Of all the houses which have been, 

Not one again my soul shall draw. 

Thy rafters crushed, thy ridge-pole too, 
Thy work, O Builder, now is o'er ; 
My spirit feels Nirvana true, 
And I shall transmigrate no more." 

One does not so much wonder at the enthusi- 
astic praise bestowed by the Buddhists upon the 
utterances of their prophet, considering that we find 
such as these scattered in liberal measure in one 
at least of the books of their Canon. They say : 

"The discourses of Buddha are as a divine charm to 
cure the poison of evil desire ; a divine medicine to heal the 
disease of anger ; a lamp in the midst of the darkness of 
ignorance ; a fire like that which burns at the end ot a 
kalpa to destroy the evils of repeated existence ; a great 
rain to quench the flame of sensuality ; a ship in which to 
sail to the opposite shore of the ocean of existence ; a col- 
lyrium for taking away the eye-film of heresy ; a succession 
of trees bearing immortal fruit, placed here and there, by 
which the traveler may be enabled to cross the desert of 
existence ; a straight highway, by which to pass to the in- 
comparable wisdom ; a door of entrance to the eternal city 
of Nirvana ; a talismanic tree to give whatever is requested ; 
a flavor more exquisite than any other in the three worlds ; 


a power by which may be appeased the sorrow of every 
sentient being." 

In another place it is declared the dharma 
''shines upon the darkness of the world, as the 
rays of the sun, when this luminary has ascended 
the Yugandhara rocks, shine upon the lotus flowers 
of the lake, causing them to expand and bringing 
out their beauty."* "His doctrine/'' says the author 
of a legend we find in the Chinese, "he described 
as the centre of invariable splendor, as the incom- 
plete and the full, the unutterable and the ever spoken, 
as something which cannot be heard, and yet is ever 
heard" "Bright as a mirror," he adds, "was the 
opening of his wisdom's store, lofty as the moun- 
tains, deep as the sea, like the thunder and the 
lightning flash was the brilliancy and the depth of 
his penetration. " f 

The Dhammapadam is a very small book, a mere 
brochure, containing in all but 423 verses, but the 
Buddhistic Canon is very voluminous. It is divided 
into three parts called the Tripitakas or three Baskets, 
as the writing was originally upon palm leaves, which 
were placed for keeping in baskets. J The first contains. 

* Hardy, E. M., pp. 192, 193, 198. 

f Beal's Catena, pp. 136, 142. 

| See Wasseljew, p. 118. So also now, according to him, the 
Thibetans and Mongolians keep their sacred books (upon paper) in 

122 BUDDHA. 

the Sutras or discourses (to which the Dhammapadam 
belongs); the second, Vinaya, or morality, mainly a 
positive code for the direction of the priests ; and 
third, the Abhidharma, or by-law, a system of meta- 
physics. Much of this is doubtless later, perhaps 
by several generations than Buddha, though all is of 
course ascribed directly to him, or to his immediate 
inspiration. In Thibet they have two gigantic collec- 
tions, the Kanjur and the Tanjur, the first consist- 
ing in the different editions of 100, 102 or 108 
folio volumes, and containing 1,083 distinct works, 
the latter of 223 folio volumes, each of which weighs 
in the edition of Peking from four to five pounds. 
These works, it is ascertained, are translations from 
Sanscrit originals, copies of which, in part at least, 
have been found in Nepal.* In China the Canon 
includes 1,440 distinct works, comprising 5,586 
books, f The Pali originals found in Ceylon, less 
voluminous indeed, are still large, containing, accord- 
ing to Spence Hardy, 592,000 stanzas (this, however, 
includes both the text and the commentaries), and 
have in turn been rendered into Birmese and 
Siamese. It is to be hoped that the substance or 

* The Buddhist Canon in China, says Mr. Edkins, is seven hun- 
dred times larger than the Bible. 

* See a good account of the character and contents of these books 
in Koeppen, II., pp. 278-282. 


the better portions of these may be given in an 
English or some other European dress. There may 
quite likely be choice gems exhumed from this mass 
of speculation and dreams. 

The Chinese have a little work they call "The 
Sutra of Forty-two Sections." It was brought to 
China from India in the first century of our era,* 
and would seem certainly at that date to have held 
high place as an authority, since it was deemed the 
one book most fittingly representing the doctrines 
of the teacher, for those to whom the new word 
was then being carried. We select a few of them 
to show the quality. The translation is by Mr. Beal. 

7. Buddha said : A man who foolishly does me wrong, 
I will return to him the protection of my ungrudging love ; 
the more evil comes from him, the more good shall go from 
me ; the fragrance of these good actions always redounding 
to me, the harm of the slanderer's words returning to him. 
For as sound belongs to the drum, and shadow to the sub- 
stance, so in the end, misery will certainly overtake the 
evil doer. 

8. Buddha said : A wicked man who reproaches a 

f So says Beal, p. 189, resting apparently upon a Chinese author- 
ity. But may it not have been brought in earlier? The Buddhistic 
faith was introduced into China very early, and from Turkistan, where 
they had at the time only the doctrines of the little Vehicle (primitive 
Buddhism, or nearly that), and this Sutra would seem to belong to 
the earliest age, and might very naturally have come through that 
source. See Wasseljew, p. 100. 

124 BUDDHA. 

virtuous one, is like one who looks up and spits at Heaven ; 
the spittle soils not the Heaven, but comes back and defiles 
his own person. So, again, he is like one who flings dirt at 
another, when the wind is contrary ; the dirt does but 
return on him that threw it. The virtuous man cannot be 
hurt ; the misery that the other would inflict comes back on 

10. Buddha said : * * To feed one good man is in- 
finitely greater in point of merit than attending to questions 
about heaven and earth, spirits and demons. These mat- 
ters are not to be compared to the religious duty we owe to 
our parents. Our parents are very divine. 

11. Buddha said: There are twenty difficult things in 
the world being poor to be charitable ; being rich and 
great, to be religious ; to escape destiny ; to get sight of the 
Scriptures ; to be born when a Buddha is in the world ; to 
repress lust and banish desire ; to see an agreeable object 
and not seek to obtain it ; to be strong without being rash ; 
to bear insult without anger ; to move in the world without 
setting the heart on it ; to investigate a matter to the very 
bottom ; not to contemn the ignorant ; thoroughly to extir- 
pate self-esteem ; to be good, and at the same time to be 
learned and clever ; to see the hidden principle in the pro- 
fession of Religion ; to attain one's end without exultation ; 
to exhibit in a right way the doctrine of expediency ; to 
save men by converting them ; to be the same in heart and 
life ; to avoid controversy. 

13. Buddha said : Who is the good man ? The reli- 
gious man only is good. And what is goodness ? First 
and foremost // is the agreement of the will with the con- 
science (Reason). Who is the great man? He who is 
strongest in the exercise of patience. He who patiently en- 
dures injury and maintains a blameless life he is a man 
indeed ! 

14. Buddha said : A man who cherishes lust and desire, 


and does not aim after ( see ) supreme knowledge, is like a 
vase of dirty water, in which all sorts of beautiful objects 
are placed the water being shaken up men can see noth- 
ing of the objects therein placed ; so it is, lust and desire, 
causing confusion and disorder in the heart, are like the 
mud in the water ; they prevent our seeing the beauty of 
supreme reason. But remove the pollution, and imme- 
diately of itself comes forth the substantial form. So also 
when a fire is placed under a pot, and the water within is 
made to boil, then whoever looks down upon it will see no 
shadow of himself. So the three poisons which rage within 
the heart, and the five obscurities which embrace it, effec- 
tually prevent one attaining (seeing) supreme reason. But 
once get rid of the pollution of the wicked heart, and then 
we perceive the spiritual portion of ourselves which we 
have had from the first, although involved in the net of life 
and death gladly then we mount to the Paradise of all the 
Buddhas, where reason and virtue continually abide. 

15. Buddha said : A man who devotes himself to Relig- 
ion is like one who takes a lighted torch into a dark house ; 
the darkness is at once dissipated, and there is light ! Once 
persevere in the search after wisdom, and obtain knowledge 
ot truth error and delusion entirely rooted out oh! 
what perfect illumination will there be ! 

16. Buddha said : In reflection, in life, in conversation, 
in study, I never for a moment forget the supreme end, 
Religion (Reason). 

18. Buddha said : Throughout an entire day's conduct 
to keep the thoughts steadily on Religion (Reason), and 
from this religious conduct to realize a deep principle ot 
Faith this indeed is blessedness without measure. 

2 1. -Buddha said: A man who rudely grasps after 
wealth or pleasure, is like a little child coveting honey 
cut with a knife ; scarcely has he had one taste of its 

126. BUDDHA. 

sweetness, before he perceives the pain of his wounded 

24. Buddha said : Lust and desire, in respect of a man, 
are like a person who takes a lighted torch and runs with it 
against the wind. Foolish man ! not letting go the torch, 
you must needs have the pain of a burnt hand ; and so with 
respect to the poison of covetousness, lust, anger, envy ; 
* * the misery to the person will be just like the self- 
inflicted pain on the hand of the foolish man bearing the 

28. Buddha addressed all the Shamans Guard against 
looking on a woman. * * If you must needs speak to 
her, let it be with pure heart and upright conduct. Say to 
yourself "I am a Shaman, placed in this sinful world; 
let me be then as the spotless lily, unsoiled by the mud in 
which it grows." Is she old ? Regard her as your mother. 
Is she honorable ? Regard her as your sister. Is she of 
small account? Regard her as a younger sister. Is she a 
child ? Treat her reverently and with politeness. 

34. Buddha said : The practice of Religion is just like 
the process followed in an iron foundry. The metal, being 
melted, is gradually separated from the dross and drops 
down ; so that the vessel made from the metal must needs 
be good. The way of wisdom is likewise a gradual process, 
consisting in the separation of all heart pollution, and so by 
perseverance reason is accomplished. 

40. Buddha said : A man in the practice of Religion, 
who is able to destroy the root of lust and desire in himself, 
may be compared to a person who counts over his beads. 
One by one he counts them, till the whole be finished. So 
when there is an end of wickedness, reason is attained. 

42. Buddha said : I regard the dignities of kings and 
princes as the dust-motes in a sunbeam ; the value of gold 
and jewels as that of a broken platter ; dresses of the finest 
silk I regard 'as the scraps of silk given as presents. I 


regard the collective chiliocosm as the letter "A" (the 
symbol of the earth). The different expedients in religious 
practice I regard as a mere raft to carry over the treasure. 
* * I regard the state of perfect mental equilibrium as 
the true standing ground, and all the various forms of ap- 
paritional existence as the changes of vegetation during the 
four seasons. * 

" It (the Law) is as a cloud which with a garland of light- 
ning spreads joy on the earth ; the water falls on all crea- 
tures, herbs, bushes, trees, and each pumps up to its own 
leaf and blossom what it requires for its several end. So 
falls the rain of the Law upon the many-hearted world. 
The Law is for millions ; but it is one and alike beautiful 
to all ; it is deliverance and repose."* 

And the Singhalese ascribe this to Buddha : 

" Out of mud springs the lotus flower ; out of clay 
come gold and many precious things ; out of oysters the 
pearls ; the brightest silks to robe fairest forms are spun by 
a worm ; bezoar from the bull, musk from the deer are pro- 
duced ; from a stick is born flame ; from the jungle comes 
sweetest honey. As from sources of little worth come the 
precious things of earth, so is it with hearts that hold their 
fortune within. They need not lofty birth nor noble kin. 
Their victory is recorded." 

One of the school reading-books, we are told, 
put into the hands of the juveniles in Ceylon, is a 
collection of maxims in Sanscrit by a Rishi, Wasana. 
It contains sentences whkh, if not regarded as 

* Beal's Catena, pp. 193, 199, 201, 203. 

* From the White Lotus of the Good Laiv. 

128 BUDDHA. 

canonical, well deserve careful recording and remem- 
brance : 

" As drops ot water falling into a vessel gradually fill it, 
so are all science and instruction and riches to be acquired." 

"Though the good have only a little wealth, like the 
water of a well, it is useful to all. Though the bad have 
much wealth, like the salt water of the sea, it is useful to 

"The evil man is to be avoided, though he be arrayed 
in the robe of all the sciences, as we flee from the serpent, 
though it be adorned with the kantha jewel." 

"We must be deaf in hearing the evil of others, blind in 
seeing the imperfection of others ; as those without mem- 
bers in committing sin, and as those without a mind in 
thinking to do wrong." 

"The pearls and gems which a man has collected, even 
from his youth, will not accompany him a single step 
towards the future world ; friends and relatives cannot 
proceed a step further than the place of sepulture ; but a 
man's actions, whether they be good or bad, will not leave 
him, they will follow him to futurity." 

"A good action done in this world will receive its 
reward in the next ; even as the water poured at the root 
of a tree will be seen aloft in the fruit and the branches."* 

The following are among the common maxims 
of the priests of Siam : 

"Glory not in thyself, but rather in thy neighbor." 

"Cause no tree to die." 

" Eat nothing between meals." 

* Hardy's Eastern Monachism. pp. 316, 317. 


' Use no perfume but sweetness of thoughts." 

"Be lowly in thy thought, that thou mayest be lowly 
in thy act." 

" po no work but the work of charity and truth." 

"Contract no friendship with the hope of gain." 

"Borrow nothing, but rather deny thy want." 

" Lend not unto usury." 

" Keep neither lance nor sword nor any deadly weapon." 

"Judge not thy neighbor." 

" Be not familiar, nor contemptuous." 

" Labor not for hire, but for charity." 

"Look not upon women unchastely." 

"Give no medicines which contain poison, but study 
to acquire the true art of healing, which is the highest 
of all arts, and pertains to the wise and benevolent." 

" Love all men equally ." 

" Perform not thy meditations in public places." 

"Make rto idols of any kind."* 

* Mrs. Leonowens' English Coverness, etc., p. 203. 



IT is plain that this man, Buddha, is an observer, 
he has seen things, read secrets, he is of poetic 
temperament, he discerns the relations, the harmonies 
of the world, and uses well the language of symbol. 
May we not add also that the indications are of an 
experience, that he has lived, and inearnated the 
ideals in history? 

Probably there has never been a system of mo- 
rality so purely unselfish offered to the world. It 
held out no rewards, recognized not even the per- 
sonal existence of the saint as a thing to be pre- 
served at all ; it was pure renunciation, divorce from 
all regard for one's self. The individual may perish, 
humanity, the great interests of truth and virtue, 
welfare of the universe, shall live. I am to die 
and be extinguished for the life of the world. We 
compare this man here with the saint we all ven- 
erate, the Jesus all our Western world prays to, and 
the comparison is not unfavorable to the former. 


Jesus seems to have been not quite uniform, for- 
getting himself and preaching now the doctrines of 
noblest self-renunciation, then again somewhat assert- 
ting himself and making great promises in this life 
and the life to come to his chosen Ones. Sakya- 
Muni does this last, never. He offers throughout 
no rewards other than self-denial and virtue itself. 
The self, the person is so far forgotten that he seems 
extinguished in the work and the grand destiny. 
Man is to be glorified in humanity. And so the 
doctrine has been thought but a gospel, if such a 
word may come in, of annihilation. There are no 
conquests, no power, no wealth in store. In this 
we think' Sakya-Muni is not the inferior of the 
Galilean youth. It is said that this is taking us 
to an atmosphere of great rarity, that few here can 
respire. It may be true, but it indicates the eleva- 
tion of the founder of this faith, that he would 
know nothing at all save the great verities that are 
the life and the end of man, and before which all 
else is as naught. 

Of course it is difficult to ' see how we are to 
part with our own existence, or how lose sight 
utterly of ourselves. The denial is subsumed by 
affirmation, and renunciation is constantly transmut- 
ing in our thought to possession. The nice meta- 
physics no acuteness can fathom. Buddha doubtless 


saw also this fact of the real, and such terms as 
"the other life," "the highest blessedness," etc., as 
the synonyms of Nirvana, indicate well that he 
made true recognition. But he was certainly right 
in insisting upon the not, and guarding well against 
all worship of the determinate and known, and so 
against the subtle lapse into idolatry. Had men 
always been thus careful against absorption, there 
had never been any idolatry. 

Buddhism, it has been said, has no God, and 
the charge of Atheism has been laid against it 
widely, and on the part of many who ought to 
know whereof they affirm. Doubtless in the ordi- 
nary or current theological sense of the word, 
Buddha was an Atheist. He never refers, so far as 
we know, to any supreme personal Being, to any 
individual God. "There is a supreme power, but 
not a supreme Being/' says Spence Hardy, charac- 
terizing the doctrines now current under the name 
of Buddha. In reference to human existence, he 
does not seem to regard personality of the individ- 
ual as permanent, but rather as something phenom- 
enal and transient, the result itself perhaps of some 
lapse or disorder, and in the enlarging destiny of 
the soul to pass away.* At any rate, whatever he 

* In an edition, or rather abstract, of the Prajna Paramitd (Abso- 
lute Wisdom), a work belonging to the great Vehicle school (in the 


may have thought of personality per se, he forbore 
steadily from making any impersonation of God. He 
knows no person but the sublime verities into which 
all things melt and sublimate, and which again are 
chiefly significant in their practical relation to us, 
and named by him* Truth or the Law. Here he 
is a believer, a deep, an emphatic believer. Sterner 
stress one could not lay than did he upon their 
great reality and all commanding worth for man. 
He seems to have been conscious of the impen- 
etrable mystery that hides the One from the ken of 
all vision, even conceptual; aware too of the swift 
danger there is of idolatry, in framing any imper- 
sonation, and so he holds himself to the recognition 
of the transcendent verities, the things that may be 
well called, in the language of some of the old 
thinkers ra vo^ra, "the intelligibles." What he would 
have said if undertaking to define his view upon 
.the unseen, it is quite impossible for any one now 
to know. He seems to have fancied little the ex- 
tended abstract speculations, was disinclined to spend 
time upon subtleties that elude all human grasp. 
"The ideas of being and not being," he says, "do 

scholastic period), we have this declaration as one of the comments of 
Theen Tai. "The spiritual body, as to its substance, is like the vast 
expanse of Space. The nature of man and his reason were originally 
one and undivided." See p. 84, Note. 

134 BUDDHA. 

not admit of discussion," and probably he abstained 
from all attempts at speculative refining and determin- 
ing, out of regard to the fact that, as he saw, the 
problems of the infinite were so absolutely transcend- 
ent and insolvable. In like spirit, when inquired of 
with reference to the world, whether it was eternal 
or not, he refused, it is said, to make any answer, 
deeming the question aimless and idle. Before the 
majestic presence he bowed, in view of the supreme 
ineffable, his spirit worshiped and celebrated, but 
forbore to describe its experience or to name its 

Considering how inaccessible the fact, in what 
light unapproachable it dwells, how fruitless withal 
has been all the laborious speculation to seek and 
solve the infinite, and considering also what anthro- 
pomorphism there has always been, framing the un- 
seen in sensuous image, what degradation and idol- 
atry, and that, too, so habitually in the purest and 
best forms of worship, shall we not say, perhaps 
this man saw farther and did wiser than others ? 
"He, the One," says Hermes Trismegistus, "with 
many names, and no name." Practically, God comes 
to us in the sublime verities, those truths and facts 
that are all-sovereign and eternal. True, the mind 
holds by inner necessity to a central unity, goes 
constantly from many or plural to one, a certain 


person in which all the impersonal matures and is 
crowned. And yet it is impossible to rest in person ; 
the thought posits reality greater than person, and 
soars away beyond the realm of personal, and im- 
personal also, as we know the impersonal. We are 
impatient of limitations, and in dealing with the high 
spiritual reality, the absolute, must deny them. We 
must rest and soar, soar and rest, the rest being 
ever but for an instant, surrendered for new flight, 
lest by tarrying we be overcome on the plain. The 
worship must be fluid, in movement like the sea, 
whose waters keep their rest in flow, and are main- 
tained sweet thereby; or as the centre of gravity is 
supported in one walking, by perpetually advancing 
step. Such is the destiny of the human soul, the 
stern fate appointed, transcending yet incarnating, 
incarnating and transcending, working new ethereal- 
izations, approaching ever, but never reaching the 
infinite goal. To keep the mind free, ascending, 
nearing more and more to essence and substance, 
that without form, enduring, is the prime necessity. 
We can lose nothing by carrying the negations to 
any extent, provided we include and cover all in 
broader affirmation. Giving up the idea of personal 
God, we are more than made good in the posses- 
sion of a higher than person. 

In the Buddhistic faith, as we have it historically, 

136 BUDDHA. 

Karma seems to have been supreme deity, "The 
supreme power/' says Hardy, "is Karma," the law 
of sanctions. This destiny or fate is the providence 
that presides everywhere. There shall be no inter- 
position, no help, no partialities of friendship shown 
you, you shall reap as you sow. Naked to the 
other world you shall go, carrying only your desert, 
your acquired character with you. The Siamese 
minister says, "There is no God, who judges of 
these acts, etc., and awards recompense, and punish- 
ment, but reward or punishment is simply the inev- 
itable effect of Kam (Karma), which works out its 
own results." In other words, as we should say, 
the supreme is incarnated, enthroned in the sovereign 
laws ; these are omniscient and self-executive. This 
is not a harmful atheism. 

Curiously enough, it seems to this heathen that 
the religions of the world divide here. "There are 
philosophers who say that all known sects may be 
classed under two religions only the Brahmanyang 
and the Samanyang. All those who pray for assist- 
ance to Brahma, Indra, God the Creator, angels, 
devils, parents, or other intercessors or possible bene- 
factors, all who believe in the existence of any being 
who can help them, and in the efficacy of prayer, 
are Brahmanyang ; while all who believe they must 
depend solely on the inevitable results of their own 


acts, that good and evil are consequences of pre- 
ceding causes, and that merit and demerit are the 
regulators of existence, and who therefore do not pray 
to any to help them, and all those who profess to 
know nothing of what will happen after death, and 
all those who disbelieve in a future existence, are 
Samanyang." * 

Much, very much inquiry, has been expended upon 
the Nirvana of Buddha, its proper purport and meaning; 
in the mind of the saint. The opinion is largely 
held that the doctrine is nihilistic, that the goal it 
proposed to all the life-long endeavor was the gulf 
of annihilation. So it has been considered to be 
dark and cheerless to the last degree, fit only for 
madmen. Doubtless, in their works of metaphysics, 
the Buddhists have furnished some ground for the 
suspicions and charges entered against them. And. 
what school of subtle and over-refining philosophy has 
not ? The Greek dialecticians and the middle-age 
school-men did this, and in India we have, as Cousin; 
long ago well remarked, "an epitome of the entire; 
history of philosophy." All the phases of Western' 
thought have been repeated, and with an added em- 
phasis and intensity in the Eastern mind. 

But in the case of Buddha himself, and quite 

Modern Buddhist, p. 37. 


138 BUDDHA. 

probably that of his near followers, the criticism is, 
we think, at fault. It has not apprehended him. 
He seems nihilistic because he is so purely spirit- 
ualistic. He has to deny and keep on repeating 
denial, to pave the way for the only possible affirm- 
ation. He can suffer no representation of the Infinite 
Good for the soul. It is so good, it cannot be 
described, or even thought. The law is so high that 
it cannot be cast in form, it flies and soars away 
from every determination. Eye hath not seen nor 
ear heard. Nirvana is the ineffable, the untold and 
unknown. It is the light that is darkness to our 
eyes. It is the not and the is; is qualified by 
not, and not transcended and extinguished by is. 
Buddha was conscious of the impotence of speech to 
name, or thought to apprehend, and he made no 
attempt to define except on the side of negation. 
But that he held it in the affirmative, we may not 

Plainly we must in fairness interpret the Nirvana 
for him in consistency with his high practical char- 
acter. No man who laid such emphasis on the royal 
virtues, who was himself so devoted, with a lover's 
enthusiasm, to humanity, who had a heart so tender 
and warm, could be absorbed and lost in nihilism. 
This belongs to renunciants, to withdrawn dreamy 
speculators, and not to great doers. His devotion, 


self-sacrifice, quenchless benevolence and love, place 
him the peer of the highest saints of history. 

"Watchfulness," he declares, "is the path of 
immortality, slothfulness the way of death ; the slothful 
are as if already dead." 

' ' These wise people, meditative, persistent, always 
possessed of strong powers, attain to Nirvana, the 
highest felicity." 

" Nirvana the sum of delights." 

"Who is filled with desire for the Ineffable (Nir- 
vana), who is rich within, whose thoughts are not 
hampered by any thirst, him I call Udhamsolas 
(borne aloft)." 

"Who can dive into the Immortal him I call 
a Brdhmana." 

"O Bhikshu (saint), empty this boat! emptied it 
will go quickly ; having cut off passion and hatred, 
thou wilt go to Nirvana." 

"The sages who injure no one, who always con- 
trol their body they will go to the immortal abode, 
where, if they have gone, they will never sorrow 
more. ' ' 

. "When you have understood the destruction of 
all that was made, then you will understand that 
which was not made (Nirvana)." 

"The man who is free from credulity, but knows 
the Uncreated (Nirvana), who has cut all ties and 

140 BUDDHA. 

taken away all temptation, renounced all desires he 
is the greatest of men." * 

In the Chinese we have a Sutra which has a 
passage on this wise : 

" Basita said, Gautama, there are four kinds of condition 
in the world which are spoken of as. non-existent ; the first 
that which is not as yet in being, like the pitcher to be made 
out of the clay ; secondly, that which having existed, has 
been destroyed, as a broken pitcher ; third, that which con- 
sists in the absence of something different from itself, as we 
say the ox is not a horse ; and lastly that which is purely 
imaginary, as the hair of the tortoise, or the horn of the 
hare. It then, by having got rid of sorrow, we have arrived 
at Nirvana, Nirvana is the same as nothingness, and may 
be considered as non-existent ; but if so, how can you define 
it as. permanence, joy, personality and purity ? 

" Buddha said, Nirvana is of this sort : it is not like the 
pitcher not yet made out of the clay, nor is it like the noth- 
ingness of the pitcher which has been broken ; nor is it like 
the horn of the hare, nor the hair of the tortoise, something 
purely imaginary. But it may be compared to the nothing- 
ness defined as the absence of something different from 
itself. As you say, although the ox has no quality of the 
horse in it, you cannot say that the ox does not exist ; and 
though the horse has no quality of the ox in it, you cannot 
say that the horse does not exist. Nirvana is just so. In 
the midst of sorrow there is no Nirvana, and in Nirvana 
there is no sorrow. So we may justly define Nirvana as 
that sort of non-existence which consists in the absence of 
something essentially different from itself" 

* DJiammapadam, 21, 23, 204, 218, 411, 369, 225, 383, 97. 


Terms in Chinese for denning Nirvana, which 
may be rendered "passive splendor," and "bright- 
ness and rest," are constantly in use in the later 
.scholastic works on Buddhism. The aim is to denote 
the perfect union of activity and repose, of motion 
and rest, as the sun or the moon, they say, constantly 
emits or reflects rays of light, and ^ yet is ever sub- 
stantially at rest* In Birmah, Nigban (Nirvana) 
is denned simply as freedom from old age, disease 
and death. 

"All along," says Mr. Beal, "Buddhism assumes 
that the same condition awaits the emancipated soul 
as is enjoyed by the Supreme Mind." 

"In Nirvana" [with the Northern Buddhists] 
says Bastian, "is no longer either birth or death; 
only the essence of life remains. Nirvana is nowhere 
(in no special place), only because it is all-embracing 
and all-pervading." "Far from being annihilation, 
as such, it is in fact annihilation of delusion, and 
therefore the real itself." "Lovely is the glorious 
realm of Nirvana," say the Siamese, "the jeweled 
realm of happiness." 

In this connection comes naturally the doctrine 
of Dhyana, of which so much is made in this faith. 
It seems essentially one with the ecstasy of the old 

* BeaPs Catena, p. 250. 

142 BUDDHA. 

mystics. It hints the withdrawal, the emancipation 
of the soul from all shackles, outer or inner, till it 
arrives at the perfect liberty, perfect possession and 
deliverance into the infinite repose. The saint must 
withdraw into complete solitude, abdicating all care 
and unrest. He knows only one desire, desire for 
Nirvana. Satisfaction succeeds, he enjoys this presence 
and is content. But satisfaction itself must cease, 
and all ratiocinative or thinking process ; enjoyment 
must come in so high that it knows not joy. Self- 
consciousness, feeling, must pass away; pleasure as 
pain, memory and all knowledge fade and be known 
no more. And now, in the fourth stage, as it is 
called, the doors of Nirvana open. The conscious- 
ness has transcended the consciousness of self, the 
knowledge all determinate knowing ; there is no 
desire, no lack, no action ; there is exaltation and 
absolute repose. The Buddha, one awakened and 
enlightened, now passes into infinity, infinity of space, 
of intelligence, into region of naught, i. e., not aught. 
Nay, the naught itself must be annihilated, and is 
transcended by a larger generalization, an absolute 
which is neither naught nor not naught, a sphere 
wherein is neither idea of being nor non-being, nor 
non-idea of either. Such a giddy flight, such a 
culmination of the abstract, was hardly possible with 
any other than an Oriental mind. It was ecstasy 


and absorption, but not absorption into substance or 
God, since Buddha recognized in no determinate idea 
either substance or the divine. 

Buddha is said to have passed through the four 
stages of Dhyana once, and to have been making the 
passage into the fourth, as under the Sal tree he 
entered Nirvana. 

The recognition of the transcendent character of 
the spiritual, the subtle and the impalpable essence 
of the unseen, and the struggle of the soul with the 
embarrassments of form and sense, the willingness, 
but inability, to rise beyond the time and space 
conditions, which with their hard necessities are ever 
upon us, are well illustrated in a conversation between 
King Milinda and Nagasena, a missionary, and bearing 
date, as would seem, a little before the beginning of 
our Christian era. * 
The king says : 

You speak of Nirvana ; but can you show it to me, or 
explain it to me by color, whether it be blue, yellow, red 
or any other color ; or by sign, locality, length, manner, 
metaphor, cause or order ; in any of these ways, or by any 
of these means, can you declare it to me ? 

Nagasena I cannot declare it by any of these attributes 
or qualities. 

Milinda This I cannot believe. 

* Milinda Prasna, a work in Pali, found also in Singhalese trans- 
lation. See Eastern Monachism, p. 7. 

144 BUDDHA. 

N&gasena There is the great ocean. Were any one to 
ask you how many measures of water there are in it, or how 
many living creatures it contains, what would you say ? 

Milinda I should tell him that it was not a proper 
question to ask, as it is one that no one can answer. 

Nagasena In the same way no one can tell the size or 
shape or color or other attributes of Nirvana, though it has 
its own proper and essential character. A Rishi might 
answer the question to which I have referred, but he could 
not declare the attributes of Nirvana, neither could any 
deva of the arupa worlds. 

Milinda It may be true that Nirvana is happiness, and 
that its outward attributes cannot be described ; but cannot 
its excellence or advantages be set forth by some mode of 
comparison ? 

Nagasena It is like the lotus as it is free from klesha (the 
lower desire), as the lotus is separate from the mud out of 
which it springs. It is like water, as it quenches the fire of 
klesha, as water cools the body ; it also overcomes the thirst 
for that which is evil, as water overcomes the natural thirst. 
It is like a medicine, as it assists those who are suffering 
from the poison of klesha, as medicine assists those who are 
suffering from sickness ; it also destroys the sorrow of re- 
newed existence, as medicine destroys disease ; and it is 
immortal, as medicine wards off death. It is like the sea, it 
is free from the impurity of klesha, as the sea is free from 
every kind of defilement ; it is vast, infinite, so that count- 
less beings do not fill it, as the sea is unfathomable and is 
not filled by all the waters of all the rivers. It is like space, 
as it is not produced (by any exterior cause) ; it does not 
die, does not pass away, is not reproduced ; it has no 
locality ; it is the abode of the Rahats and Buddhas, as 
space is the habitation of birds ; it cannot be hid. and its 
extent is boundless. It is like the magical jewel, as it gives 
whatever is desired. 


It is like red sandal wood, as it is difficult to be pro- 
cured ; its perfume is also peerless, and it is admired by 
the wise. It is like Maha Mru, as it is higher than the 
three worlds, its summit is difficult to be attained ; and as 
seeds will not vegetate on the surface ot the rock, neither 
can klgsha flourish in Nirvana ; and it is free from enmity 
or wrath. 

Again he says : 

It cannot be said that it is produced nor that it is not 
produced ; that it is past, future, or present, nor can it be 
: said that it is the seeing of the eye or the hearing of the 
ear, or the smelling of the nose, or the tasting of the tongue, 
or the feeling of the body. 

Milinda Then you speak of a thing that is not ; you 
merely say that Nirvana is Nirvana ; therefore there is no 

Nagasena Great king, Nirvana is; it is a perception 
of the mind ; the pure delightful Nirvana, free from ignor- 
ance and evil desire, is perceived by the Rahats who enjoy 
the fruition of the paths. 

Milinda It there be any comparison by which the 
nature or properties of Nirvana can be rendered apparent, 
be pleased thus to explain them. 

Nagasena There is the wind ; but can its color be 
told ? Can it be said that it is in such a place, or that it 
is small or great, or long or short ? 

Milinda We cannot say that the wind is thus ; it can- 
not be taken into the hand and squeezed. Yet the wind is. 
We know it because it pervades the heart, strikes the body, 
and bends the trees of the forest ; but we cannot explain its 
nature or tell what it is. 

Nagasena Even so Nirvana is; destroying the in- 
finite sorrow of the world, and presenting itselt as the chief 

146 BUDDHA. 

happiness of the world, but its attributes or properties can- 
not be declared. 

There is close similarity here in the illustration 
employed from the wind, and that of Jesus, in de- 
scribing the being born of the spirit. 

Again Nagasena, in response to the king, who, 
unable to get out of the space conditions, con- 
tinually plies the question "Where is that place?" 
declares it is 

Neither in the east, south, west or north, neither in the 
sky above nor in the earth below, nor in any of the infinite 
sakwalas is there such a place, but wherever the precepts 
can be observed. And there may be observance in Ya- 
wana, China, Milata, Alanda, Kosala, the summit of MahS, 
Meru, or the brahma-lokas ; it may be anywhere, just as 
he who has two eyes can see the sky from any or all of 
these places, or as any of these places may have an eastern 

Milinda asks : 

Does the All-wise (Buddha) exist ? 

Nagasena He who is the most meritorious (Bhagavat) 
does exist. 

Milinda Then can you point out to me the place in 
which he exists ? 

Nagasena Our Bhagavat has attained Nirvana, where 
there is no repetition of birth ; we cannot say that he is 
here or that he is there. He is like the sun that has set 
behind the Astagiri mountain ; it cannot be said that he is 
here or that he is there, but we can point him out by the 
discourses he delivered ; in these he still lives.* 

* Eastern Monachism, pp. 297, 298, 295, 299, 300. 


Nirvana is the house not made with hands, the 

abode beyond all abodes, the world we aspire to, 
transcending all, taking constantly form in our 
thought, but not to be cast in form, the ethereal 
reality soaring on and on beyond every thing deter- 
minate forever. It is gained through renunciation, 
through surrender and the higher choice continually. 
It is found in pursuit and rest, activity that is re- 
pose and perpetual possession. Giordano Bruno 
hints it when he sings, 

" nascendo il pensier, more il desio" 

At the birth of thought desire dies away. 

It is the dream of life, the ideal felicity, that all 
more or less clearly discern, or at least feel and 
pant for, but fewest, even in remote approximation, 
attain. It is the infinitude of God, the heritage 
and longing and goal ever of the finite soul. It 
is that everlasting trust that rests and believes when 
all fails, assured that there can be no failure, that 
all things work together for good. It is the dwell- 
ing in "the adequate ideas," as Spinoza terms them, 
those supreme considerations that lift beyond temp- 
tation and all allurement. It is perpetual flowing 
and ascending, no pause, no attachment or fastening 
anywhere, and yet the deepest, a constantly increas- 
ing hold upon substance, and the abiding. In a 

148 BUDDHA. 


word, it is realization and aspiration, satisfaction and 
thirst in one. 

The complete attainment by any one would be 
the fulfillment of all dreams, the accomplishment of 
every prophecy, the subjection aye, the elimination 
of time from the soul. It is the goal, boundless, 
everlasting, infinitely removed, yet most intimately 
present, which we are each ever to near, but never 
to reach. Buddha saw it and sang it, and fain 
would he rend the barrier and enter into full pos- 
session. The great reconciler, the redeemer, has not 
yet come, the desire of all nations is awaited still. 
All hitherto have been but forerunners of the Mes- 
sias, Baptists in the wilderness, shouting, "Prepare, 
prepare ye the way." Ages, and perhaps millen- 
niums, must yet pass ere the great synthesis shall 
be wrought and the mystery of being be dissolved 
and absorbed in spirit. We look for him that should 
come, and we recall that there shall be no person, 
that the secret is too deep and subtle that any human 
tongue can ever tell. But looking back over history, 
we find some indications that this Indian saint had 
partially clear vision, that he sighted, albeit dimly 
and from afar, the infinite goal. 

Buddha did not perhaps draw the affirmations as 
he ought, dwelt too much in negation. The thought 
affirms, builds, and amid every denial constructs new 


positive. This is all safe while it continues tran- 
scendent and on-flowing. But the entanglements 
are so numerous and ever recurring, the fatality in 
all history has been shown so constantly in pausing 
and making the form the eidolon, that we may deem 
his jealousy of any worship of the determinate as 
rather a merit than a defect. Under this wholesome 
restraint it was, doubtless, that he forbore to describe 
God as a person, for he would admit nothing 
unworthy, would not profane the idea within him of 
the illimitable.* 

The great fact of this transiency and decay in 
existence staggered him, it fairly haunted his brain, 
and he sought by all means possible to find some 
solution. Why must it be that life is such a flitting 
shadow on this earth, that it is but the lightning 
gleam in the sky, but the scintillation of a spark ? 
Upon that he toiled and wrestled. Could he rend 
that mystery and see the eternal bloom, the youth 

* Buddha said : "As the great universe has no boundary, and the 
eight quarters of Heaven no gateway, so Supreme Reason has no- 
limits ; to measure boundless space would be difficult indeed." 

Confucius said : " Look up at it ; it is higher than you can see \ 
Bore into it ; it is deeper than you can penetrate ! Look at it as it 
stands before you ; suddenly it is behind you ; " i. e., it cannot be 

Lau-tsze said : " Looking up, you cannot see the summit of its. 
head ; go behind it, you cannot see its back." 

150 BUDDHA. 

that never dies, the perennial, time no more 
this were the privilege, the boon of all others. 
The problem remains to us all unsolved. Old age 
comes to us as fate ; no one accepts death from 
choice. Who does not witness with pain and a 
measure of sorrow the furrows come and deepen, the 
sure marks of advancing age and decay? Will any 
explain the high necessity for all this transiency and 
inevitable death ? Broadly considered, however, the 
problem will probably be found a part of the question 
of time, the mystery of history, of birth and move- 
ment, to be be solved only when we are able to 
read the enigma of being. Since the river flows why 
must there not be emptying into the sea ? We may 
well see to it that there be no hastening on sensuous 
or trivial grounds, and withal that we ourselves acqui- 
esce, descend into the 1 stream and make the inevitable 
wear connect with work, answer some solid, worthy 
purpose. We have seen Buddha's suggestion as to 
the method of disarming the king of his terrors, of 
working conquest over death. Brief hint as it is, 
it has meaning, and intimates the proximate solution. 
By following this road we certainly approach the true 

" To crowd the narrow span of life 

With wise designs and virtuous deeds ; 

So shall we wake from death's dark night, 

To share the glory that succeeds." 


The very defects of Buddhism and we see it to 
have had a morbid, chilling element come in a 
sense from its greatness. It was so penetrated with 
thought of the spiritual, that it discerned nothing of 
the seen or material, saw eternity so large and sole, 
that there was no place for time. Life shrinks to 
nothing, for the immense beyond overshadows, anni- 
hilates it. And so the faith was renunciant, solitary, 
mournful. It dwelt on the dark and ghastly, lacked 
the element of appreciation and cheer. How it dis- 
paraged all things of time ! The saints were to 
dwell on death, dress in rags, spend nights in cem- 
eteries, meditate on the inevitable destruction to all. 
Earth is made a wilderness, a charnel-house, a dis- 
mal, mouldy tomb. Such disparagements of life and 
its scenes, of the human body and its enjoyments, 
one could never wish a second time to see, as they 
are in these scriptures. It is grim and ghastly. We 
say instinctively, a mistake, a blighting, fatal error. 
It was a plunge of the Oriental thought in the dim 
regions of Pluto and nothingness. With our Western 
temperament and habits we cannot abide it. But 
for the Eastern soil it was hardly strange, or perhaps 
we may say, absurd. 

Nor is it in this character quite singular or cer- 
tainly sole in history. We need not go far from 
home to find the like of it. In our current religion 

152 BUDDHA. 

what depreciation and disparagement there has been, 
and still is, of life ; such sadness, gloom, denial of all. 
truth and beauty here. 

"This life's a dream, an empty show." 

"Life is but a winter's day, 
A journey to the tomb." 

" The brightest things below the sky 

Shine with deceitful light, 
We should suspect some danger nigh 
Where we possess delight." 

" Our life, how poor a trifle 'tis, 
That scarce deserves the name." 

"The cold dreary tomb, 

Sad lot of all living, mortality's doom." 

Such gloomy tone runs largely in the popular 
hymnology. We celebrate death. 

" Who, who would live alway, away from his God " 

" Ye wheels of nature, speed your course, 

Ye mortal powers decay, 
Fast as ye bring the night of death, 
Ye bring eternal day." 

"Oh, 'tis a glorious boon to die, 
This favor can't be prized too high." 

There are utterances in the Old Testament hardly 
less mournful and dreary than any that are found 
in the Buddhistic Canon. 


" Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full 
of trouble." 

" He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down, he 
fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not." 

" Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, 
ye children of men." 

" Thou carriest them away as with a flood ; they are as 
a sleep ; in the morning they are like the grass which 
groweth up." 

" In the morning it flourisheth and groweth up, in the 
evening it is cut down and withereth." 

" We spend our years as a tale that is told." 

" My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle." 

"The days of our years are three score years and ten, 
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is 
their strength labor and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and 
we fly away."* 

What choice texts to read, and improved so well, 
who does not remember, on funeral occasions ! The 
New Testament is not free from a like infirmity. 
We hear mention of the body as "vile," and the 
feeling is of disesteem for this life, as a dreary 
pilgrimage, a dark fate, and the hope is centered on 
the world beyond, where is recompense and deliver- 
ance. It is plain that where such disparagements 
prevail there has not been the true reading either 
of time or eternity. It would seem as if in some 
of the old ages there had been a general obliquity 

* Job 14: i, 2. Psalm 90: 3, 5, 6, 9. Job 7: 6. Psalm 90: 10. 

154 BUDDHA. 

of vision, an amaurosis indeed, so that the world of 
existence could not be seen or known in just sense 
at all. The more practical and healthful Western 
mind has been affected with it almost alike deeply 
with the Eastern. It has covered earth like a pall, 
and the obscuration, as we see, is not removed yet. 
Buddha may have been, quite likely was charged 
with this taint. It certainly marred the completeness 
of his character. He was of the dark temperament, 
as the tradition gives him, pensive and sombre by 
nature, so penetrated and overcome with feeling of 
the infinite, that he was lost to sense of the world 
of the seen. "All is perishable, all is miserable, all 
is void," is an expression that, judging by the 
tradition, must frequently have passed his lips. And 
yet, before we strongly condemn another, let us see 
to it that we be subject in no degree to a like 

But, again, with all the phenomenal, the empty 
and unreal and at hours how shadowy it all seems 
there is substance. The world an apparition, a very 
Sheol above ground, it is also real. We look into 
the faces in the street as they flit by, how appari- 
tional they seem ; in the mellowed light of the past 
or the near future, what are they? Shadow of a 
shade, ghosts, dreams and dreamers all. Flesh is 
dust, life is a vapor. And yet do we feel there is 


something far more. The gaze penetrates, fixes us. 
Here are vital relations. This mortal is putting on 
immortality, it is immortal. The phenomenal is sub- 
stantial and everlasting. The great qualities certainly 
abide, and love, magnanimity, devotion are beyond 
peradventure, no spectral illusion. These faces are 
radiant, these masks reveal, and these transient shows 
beam deep with meaning as of the being of God. 
And so the friendships and the friends are abiding, 
become more real than ever, as reading through the 
sensuous and illusive, seeing all in symbol, we pen- 
etrate to substance, the inner truth of all. How 
grandly sacred becomes to us a person ! We are 
awe-stricken, intensely solemnized. Before us a 
clothed eternity, a Theophania, clothed and also 
veiled ; fleeting, momentary, and also everlasting ; 
patent to sense, and also utterly inaccessible, beyond 
the power of hand to touch, or any organ to know. 
How fine and tender these relations ; we are per- 
vaded with restraint and reverence ; hushed be every 
passion or sensuous feeling. Who could think of 
violating in smallest point this temple of the soul ? 
Before that shrine we bow, as before the majestic 
Presence of Divinity. 

Buddhism, doubtless, was guilty of short-coming 
here, as what great faith of the world has not been? 
All have stumbled at that stumbling-stone. None 

156 BUDDHA. 

have yet read well, none attained the fine interpre- 
tation. Pythagoras, of all the prophets we know, 
has gone farthest in essay towards accomplishment 
in this most difficult work. Zoroaster also seems to 
have approximated beyond any other name in the 
East. Buddhism went to the highest heights of 
negation, bore its protest powerfully and well, but 
did not reach the affirmation. Let it be judged in 
this regard fairly, nothing extenuated, and no meas- 
ure of condemnation meted out to it that is not 
given to other faiths chargeable with like deficiency. 
It is not easy to say of its renunciation, speak- 
ing of it entire, how far it was healthy or had 
healthy elements, and how far of morbid tinge, 
whether the withdrawal was for concentration and 
conquest, true work, or for escape. There is much 
that we need to cast aside that we may be light- 
weighted to run the race before us. Every imped- 
iment, every clog we must away with, everything that 
delays us from climbing swiftly the road upward to 
God. There are stern lessons to be put here, and 
no preacher has yet laid emphasis on them too 
strongly. But there is sometimes also pusillanimity, 
desire to abdicate our relations, to withdraw from 
the post of life. Existence here is a conflict, 'and 
it requires some effort even to live. There come 
hours perhaps to all, when the soul prays, "May this 


cup pass from me," when the resolution fails, the 
mountain looms too high, and it asks to be relieved ; 
it would to naught and death. Perhaps the Bud- 
dhistic doctrine took on something of this type, we 
cannot quite say at this distance. But we can see 
it a grave mistake, involving a totally wrong appre- 
hension of life from the bottom, not better and not 
worse, as appears, than the current conception of 
salvation and heaven as implying deliverance and 
exemption from all responsibilities and labors that 
come so ungrateful here. The deliverance is not by 
withdrawal, but by conquest. Rest itself is motion ; 
repose, the perfection of action. 

Life itself is such a battle, there is no escape 
but by victorious doing. Every morning summons 
us to a new conflict, every day brings new surprises, 
requirements, tasks not anticipated. The nails will 
grow, the pores will transpire, the body, as also the 
mind, undergoing constantly transmutation. There is 
no cessation to the work of disintegrating ; necessity 
there is for perpetual conflict, resistance and struggle 
to hold against the flood and keep good by renewals 
the waste. Each individual in life is like one upon 
ocean in a frail and leaky bark, to be kept afloat 
only by incessant exertion. He must pump or die. 
All that we have acquired or possess goes continually 
to deterioration, enemies on all hands attack it, lay 

158 BUDDHA. 

waste, and there must be unwearying effort to repair 
and maintain. Eternal vigilance is here the price 
of every liberty. Whoso would abdicate this inces- 
sant struggle must go out of his own body, out of 
existence itself. There is no exemption to aught 
that dwells in time. 

"Life's no resting but a moving," 

This Buddhism ought, if it did not, to have seea 
and made good recognition of. 

For here we touch upon great issues, the vital 
questions of life open at this door. The deliverance 
is by exaltation and enlargement, mastery until mo- 
tion is perfect rest, and our activity becomes free, 
victorious, spontaneous as the breath. There is to be 
no effort and no weariness. The Nirvana is posses- 
sion; the felicity, life more and more expanded and 
exalted. That we feel embarrassed and find our- 
selves burdened and shackled, is proof of our weak- 
ness. We have not yet become seized of our estate. 
When we shall have been, we shall have no long- 
ing or unrest, nothing can be hard or painful, we 
shall feel never for a moment disposition to retire 
or escape any work or requirement. Conflict shall 
transmute into conquest ; in all the circumstances 
about us, not one thing unfriendly. Without indiffer- 


ference, we shall yet be without solicitude or any pain. 
The large soul loves and works largely, with zest 
and serene joy. Indisposition for labor, shrinking 
from its trials and responsibilities is, perhaps, always 
a mark of impaired vitality; it betokens imbecility 
or advancing old age. Very frequently indeed it is 
in close connection with diseased physical condition, 
and hardly knows cure short of the removal of that. 
Taking in view the high mark, how few of us, in- 
deed, reach or even approach the period of twenty- 
one ! Few approximate the fine golden mean, find 
the true reconciliation and marriage of seen and un- 
seen, undertaking never too much, neither tov little, 
never indifferent and never borne away, pursuing, and 
keeping and deepening perpetually in the pursuit, 
the inward rest. 

There may fitly be discrimination and selection. 
All are not anointed to every work. With each in- 
dividual there should be deliberate judgment and 
choice of his vocation. There is also gradation and 
a relativity of values, and there may be, there must 
be preferences. One claim stands subordinate to 
another. Remembering the gradation and constant 
ascension, we should keep lower subservient and 
cheap beside the higher. There may be setting aside 
in a measure of the grosser tasks, in order to a 
larger dedication and freer performance of higher 

160 BUDDHA. 

work. One should not spend his life in doing, 
however devotedly, on trifles or matters of inferior 
moment. Every day we are called to weigh, to 
take the comparative measurements, and adjust our- 
selves to fresh claims. That which was paramount 
and commanding yesterday may be subordinate to- 
day. Every hour frequently shifts values, and it 
requires great skill, as well as fine judgment, to 
make the instant adjustments. We may well feel ill 
at ease with ourselves, if we use not good discrim- 
ination and selection. There must be a singleness 
and soleness in all effective dedication, a shutting 
out of all rivals from the homage, . the devotion of 
the worshiper. Much may be excused to the supe- 
rior genius who separates himself largely from the 
manual labors, that he may do finer and more. And 
yet none may withdraw himself utterly ; every man 
must keep burnished and bright the link that unites 
him with the world of the material and his toiling 
fellows, must keep alive some taste of the labor in- 
volved to provide for the primal necessities. With- 
drawal, in this sort, will vitiate the quality of his 
thought, impair the bond of sympathy through which 
he sees, knows and enters into the condition of men, 
and be very apt also to harm his character. The 
more exalted one's soul, the more royally and in- 
spiringly he can do. All tasks may transmute into 


pastime and delight under his hand. His compan- 
ionship, on any field, is an exhilaration. No man 
may rightfully forget, while in the body, that he has 
a body, and that he primarily should serve and feed 
his own. It is to be suspected that Buddhism made 
its grave, its fatal short-coming here. This blemish 
seems to mar all the great saintships thus far in 
history. The monk, with staff and alms-bowl ask- 
ing for bread, is not quite honorable or manly in 
the midst of working mankind. He that is least 
in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. He 
that strives to sustain truly and well the relation to 
wife, family, society, that conquers on that plane, 
writes and realizes he has fought a higher battle, 
and stands in this point greater than all renunciants. 
And in the household he may learn lessons, behold 
revelations finer and deeper than Buddha saw in his 

The requirement for all is that none in any labor 
shall become absorbed and lost. And none must 
abdicate or think for a moment of retiring from 
exertion. Any work, however coarse or ungrateful 
to the feeling, is infinitely better than none. All 
has in it divine elements, and may be transmuted 
to beauty and song. Do something, and keep mind 
and heart ever alive. "I feed," says Giordano 
Bruno, "upon the high endeavor." There is no 

1 62 BUDDHA. 

rust so fatal as the rust of inaction. The old hymn 

hath it 

. ' only while we pray, we live.' 

In larger and stricter sense, only while we act, we 
live. Even old age may be animated by a purpose, 
and the years of infirmity may should be occu- 
pied with interests and work. An aim is antiseptic, 
it resists the invasion of decay. There is no such 
anodyne for the ills and pains of life as absorption 
of the attention on worthy objects. Each one should 
seek, in however advanced years, when the hour 
comes, to die in the harness. "Give me a great 
thought, that I may be quickened with it while I 
die," said the expiring Herder to his attendant. 

And even the secondary or inferior may become, 
for the time being at least, paramount, and the man 
of highest spiritual gift, with great calling to teach, 
to prophesy, may see occasion that shall imperatively 
summon him to the toilful hand-laborer's life, a 
vocation to be preferred immeasurably before any 
mean surrender or degradation. He will find that 
here, too, the divine enrichments will come, that 
sootiest toil will permit, aye, bring inspirations, great 
communion, open to broadest culture and enlarge- 
ment, that no favored position bought at price of 
manly erectness can begin to give. There are ad- 
vantages purchased at fatal price, and they shrink to 
dry ashes in the hand. 



right apprehension of this world, seeing all 
J_ things as they are, in their duality and their 
oneness, correlating time with the eternal, keeping 
the fact and the true subordination this is ever the 
question of questions, the one problem of human 
life. Buddhism brings us to it, all historic studies, 
especially of faiths and institutions, bring us to it. 
This once solved, the human being has done his 
errand, wrought out his destiny and entered into 
final rest. 

It is a very old question, considered and experi- 
mented upon through all the ages. How use the 
world, never abusing it, how make the just recog- 
nitions, avoiding renunciation and escape absorption, 
how love and embrace as we must, but never set- 
ting too much stake in the object this is the 
severe problem. If I would be just, making full 
recognition of all the claims of the outer and seen, 
relations to the world of time, I fall into forgetful- 
ness and idolatry ; if I would guard w%ll and keep 

1 64 BUDDHA. 

clear, I become tainted with indifference, a renun- 
ciant, a withdrawn and ghastly saint. On the Scylla 
or the Charybdis all barks go to wreck, or from 
the one to the other, many all the life long vainly 
toss and beat. 

The outer is not matter of indifference, and the 
material condition, the physical or mundane basis, is 
not to be despised or disregarded. Outer and inner, 
corporeal and ethereal are clamped together in this 
world by indissoluble bonds. Lower leads to and 
culminates in higher, and there is no higher that 
(Joes not stand and rest in lower. The matter 
of circumstances in reference to the house, the ap- 
pointments of the home, may seem trivial, at least 
unimportant, and yet the neglect of one little 
particular may cost a life, may bear to the shades 
irrecoverably the face of a dear one. We must 
distinguish while we cannot separate, discriminate and 
hold fitly in place, while we cannot put asunder. 
It is so very delicate a task, speculatively impossible, 
practically most difficult, seeming unattainable. 

Every thing must be put upon the scales and 
marked at its just value, or the approximation, and 
the valuation needs to be revised and re-marked con- 
tinually as the relations change, which they do every 
day and every hour. There must be constant use 
of the balance, and ever-returning reference to the 


absolute standard. How the values change accord- 
ing to the perspectives we look through, that which 
seems so large and commanding in view of the near 
present, shrinking into insignificance and naught in 
view of the long future. And there is variation in 
the standard within at different moments, days and 
periods of life ; at least it comes out some times 
with greater distinctness, is more pronounced, clear, 
vital, than at others. And the highest norm is at 
best but an approximation, only a comparatively just 
scale ; there is some amaurosis always, points of in- 
sensibility in the nerve, mirage in the eye, chromatic 
refractions. At the highest heights the vision . is 
partial, the angels are chargeable with folly. But if 
we advance, there are constantly new corrections, 
finer sensibilities being wakened within ourselves. 

The puzzle seems to be to avoid excess, to keep 
to the limit. The way is slippery, and the descent 
to Avernus so easy. There is such constant expan- 
sion to the wants, or what we conceive to be our 
wants, such quick, rising intensity. One sets out to 
build the house ; the requirements so grow and mul- 
tiply, there are so many things that suggest, it were 
well, aye, necessary, to have them the dimensions 
swell ere we are aware, out of all proportion to the 
land we must build on, or the purse we must build 
from. And the appointments, the furnishing of the 

1 66 BUDDHA. 

house with its various wares, necessary, convenient, 
elegant how they enlarge and increase till literally 
there is no end. The absorptions are so great, so 
subtle, that ere one is aware, he is borne from his 
feet and lost in the vortex. No house ever gets 
finished, no estate is ever large enough, and no ap- 
pointments quite complete. The accumulation of 
materials in the course of years how it swells up! 
Be careful as one will, the collection will grow and 
extend, implements, materials for use, articles of the 
household, shop, or farm economy, laid aside, not 
of any present need, yet not willingly thrown away. 
A fire, a removal, a relentless auction, may clear 
away the superfluous stuifs, but in absence of one 
or another of -these, what steadily increasing bondage 
is brought ! We become encased in a hard shell, 
layer after layer, incrustations that bind us tight and 
forbid all fluidity and freedom. How many a house- 
keeper becomes, ere she is aware, held and kept by 
her house, how many an estate owner, owned by 
his estates! And so the multitudes of men and 
women in our society, our active and advanced 
civilization, are brought under deep idolatries and 
shackles of an inextricable bondage. Is there no 
method of having any thing without being possessed, 
chained and hampered by it? Is there no medium 
between subjugation and renunciation ; no freedom 
but in being a sans culotte ? 


* Habitude, the accustomed ways and surroundings, 
have power for ill as well as good, perhaps more 
than for good. Use and wont confine and enslave 
us. We grow to the habitual, the scenes and expe- 
riences of the every-day life, till we become identified 
with them, they are a part of ourselves. We cannot 
break from them, are fastened, incarcerated, unable 
to move at the call of the spirit. The languid 
nature cries, "Let me first go and bury my father." 
I see, not without dread, the power of this element, 
especially as the years advance, and the enthusiasm, 
elasticity and warm courageous spirit of youth have 
\ diminished. We incline to the accustomed, to rest 
in what we have, unwilling to break away and forth 
to new fields and larger work. Every day adds a 
cord to the fastening, and erewhile the toil becomes 
so strong we cannot possibly break it. Every man 
as he enters age, tends to become contracted, con- 
servative, a fogy. The blood retires more inward to 
the heart, he is less disposed to exertion, to aggres- 
sive forward movement. His cry is, "Let alone, let 
be, no disturbance, no disruption." He is glued to 
his objects; when they are taken, like Laban he has 
lost his gods. Only as he keeps his blood warm 
and quick, his pulse beating with the life of the 
world, can he escape. 

Our relations to the social involve us in grave 

1 68 BUDDHA. 

exposure. How these faces write, this presence ,of 
the dear ones of the household, the friendly circle 
what a power it has to touch and affect us to the 
quick ! The impressions are so vital, they enter the 
very life-centers. All unconsciously we are borne 
away with a wild idolatry. We identify the form 
with the substance, the expression with the reality, 
we forget the symbolism. A single experience may 
be fraught with danger, the glance of the eye, 
the beam in the look, the word which is music to 
the ear how it may carry us captive and bear 
away. I note with awe sometimes and shrinking 
fear these fascinations, the allurements, the fine, trans- 
porting charms of the home circle, and apprehend 
lest they become too dear, too essentially indispensable 
in their habitual manifestation, to the soul's enjoy- 
ment. All unconsciously our hearts' loves are en- 
twined there so deep, we live in and of them, and 
cannot bear separation. But the separation comes, 
as it must, ever has and ever will, and we are bereft 
indeed. Our lode-stars are gone, the light of our 
life blotted out. Death strips us of our delights, 
and we sit in darkness, saddened, alone. 

And yet there is a medium line to be hit ; we 
are individuals and are each an incarnated spirit, 
breathing and dwelling in time, and some garments 
we must have, we cannot go naked in this world. 


We have relations and dependencies, we must con- 
verse and commune. How mingle and still hold 
superiority, how recognize and honor, warm to and 
love, and get upon us never a trace of a shackle? 
We want the wise teacher who shall elucidate, show 
us the reconciliation and true deliverance. Repose 
in action, repose that acts and activity that reposes 
is the need of every day and every hour of every 

In the old Vedic Hymns, early almost apparently 
as the dawn of any civilization among men, any 
social, tamed, human life, going back to the days 
when agriculture was hardly born, settled life in 
houses just beginning or young, man poor almost 
as a naked savage, existence a perpetual struggle, 
such as we can hardly conceive of now, we find in- 
vocations to the superior powers and forces of 
nature, for supply of the most elemental wants. 
Give us possessions, food, shelter, family, and con- 
tinued life here, O Indra! We crave remembrance 
in the body, in the imperative resistless needs of 
our physical being. The staple of these old hymns, 
deeply religious as they are, is still grossly material, 
showing man glued to the earth, groveling amid its 
absorptions, in the first stages only of his birth into 
consciousness of the higher. His eyes begin to open 
upon the great realities, he is filled with wonder, 

1 70 BUDDHA. 

with aspiration, superlative longing, but the hard 
necessities encase him, and he falls back ever and 
anon to the ' stern needs that press him without, the 
measureless distance that divides him from the desired 
and the indispensable material possession. Man an 
infant, a naked child, exposed, beset, hampered, and 
in life-and-death struggle with enemies, unable to 
overcome his pressures, ravished, but too weak to 
rise to the upper airs and dwell in exaltation and 
repose this is the spectacle presented to us in that 
early, almost primitive stage of human history. 

We stand now at distance of forty, or perhaps more 
centuries from that,* the struggles, advances and 
enlargements of so many ages behind us, man the heir 
-of all the attainment of this past, risen from naked 
savagery to a clothed and comparatively fine civiliza- 
tion and yet have we grown much from that old 
^condition? All abroad the same cry goes up contin- 
ually : Give us possessions, O Heaven ! We want 
means, wealth, property and power, an emancipated, 
protected and favored life. What emphasis upon the 
food to eat, the clothes to wear, in one view essen- 
tial condition, but as held largely, merest incident, 

* Bunsen says the oldest of the Vedas, the purely popular, cannot 
be younger than 3000 B. C. See Max Miiller's Chips, Vol. III., p. 
471; also Bunsen's Egypt, Vol. V., p. 562. 


and even fatal snare. Such constant occupation with 
the material relations, perpetual study and labor for 
change and advantage and power here. In any true 
rendering in invocation of the absorbing desires and 
effort of to-day, hardly less prominent place would 
be covered by the prayers for possession and physical 
supply, than we find in those old rude petitions of 
the early Aryan ancestors. With all the wealth, the 
enhanced comfort and emancipation, the goal is still 
unneared, and we may say even unsighted. Man 
still grovels on the earth, unable to rise and take 
the freedom, the great repose that is his birthright. 
It is yet the dispensation of the first man, of the 
earth, earthy. 

The same character is stamped upon our public 
civilization. So patent, it is obvious to all eyes. 
The material element seems excessive, so dominant 
as to make deformity and distortion. Such eager- 
ness, haste of work, rush and impatience after per- 
formance and outer conquest. Visit any of the marts 
of trade, routes of commerce, shops of business, and 
you see everywhere the fevered life, gigantic move- 
ments that would stir from their places the very 
heavens^ immense enterprises carried forward to aggran- 
dize and fill with power. The brute forces of nature 
are commanded into service, and steam, electricity, 
heat, winds, are made to do the. bidding of man in 

172 BUDDHA. 

this quest. Probably there is not a force in the 
bowels of the earth, in the atmosphere, or the stars, 
that will not be captured and tamed to this use. 
Human life is rapid, breathless with ambition and 
speed in all the incidents of outer wealth and achieve- 
ment. Look at the thoroughfares, and you see the 
eager- rush of everybody to go abroad, to traverse the 
planet, myriads whirling on with the speed of the 
wind, and in perpetual stream no rest and no goal. 
You are impelled to interrogate, Wherefore? Whence 
do all these come, and whither are they bound ? 
Was there ever the like thirst and universal move- 
ment before? The brain of man is in constant gesta- 
tion, travailing perpetually with inventions and skilled 
devices for subduing time, annihilating the space 
separations, and conquering to his feet the world. 

The same dream of possession seems to haunt the 
scientific domain, the same thirst and unrest, and the 
glasses are armed with ever-increasing power, that 
they may see to the end of finitude, probe and 
explore all the height and depth of the unmeasured 
universe. Never was there such hope and assured 
expectation, such tension and energizing of every 
faculty. Not unnaturally, perhaps, is the head dazed 
with the great successes, wonderful of late, beyond 
any parallel hitherto, and the intoxication comes in 
that dreams, that this daring, conquering intellect of 


man is on the eve of piercing and laying open the 
final secret of secrets. 

Viewing from one point of observation, we may- 
say that there is fate, destiny here. It must needs 
be so. There are conditions yet to be fulfilled, 
certain preliminary terms to a true spiritual mastery, 
that must be answered, and the race is moving on, 
in large part unconsciously, to work an indispensable 
mission, to smooth and make straight the way for 
the coming of the Most High. Man is not yet 
free enough on the physical plane, he is the creature 
of stern necessities that bind him, too preoccupied, 
absorbed, harried, too much still in the exposure 
and lack of primitive savagery, to be able to com- 
mand himself to withdrawal and inner repose. See 
what exposure in the person, what bankruptcy of 
health and life, what premature decay, what sorrows, 
what heavy odds against which perpetually to con- 
tend ! What a tragedy is life all about us, what an 
unceasing, relentless battle, what clouds, what sadness 
visit! There is still sternest destitution and need, 
the requirement to fight and to wrest whatever we 
would win ; much also that, with all the bravery of 
fight, we are unable to get. The great battle with 
weakness, want, with cold, disease and sharp pres- 
sures is still to be done, ere, as would seem, the 
higher life is to any large extent possible. Destiny 

174 BUDDHA. 

has charged its ministers with this performance, and 
the word shall surely accomplish that whereunto it 
was sent. 

Sad enough it is to see of some, that they ap- 
pear so delicately constituted, there is such lack of 
just poise in their temperament, such over-proportion 
even of the finer, the spiritual, that they are unfitted 
to bear the rude shocks of the experiences of time, 
and so go down broken and crushed, summoned 
out of life ere they have been able to read and get 
its lessons. The flower was too delicate for the 
winds that blew, and the storms that sometimes 
come, and could not therefore fill the measure of its 
days and reach its full perfection. Nature was too 
harsh for this sensitive plant; the earth itself seems 
still rude and in a sort sinister to human life. A 
withering breath comes and destroys. Of others, 
too, we must feel that they are so charged with 
down-weighing infirmities, some bias, some torpor or 
perversion, that amid all tuitions of experience, they 
never will attain, never reach good birth, but, as a 
vulgar phrase hath it expressively, they "die a-bornin. " 
Both these short-comings or miscarriages are very 
tragic, and long ages of thought and careful toil 
must be passed, ere they shall occur no more. 

It is to be hoped, indeed, that some day, not 
distant, will witness material reduction in the stern, 


exacting manual labors that lie to all honest hands. 
The pressure and necessary absorptions are great. 
Large portion of our waking hours in a ' climate, so 
rigorous as ours, where, emphatically, for most part, 

"The winter consumes what the summer doth yield," 

must be given, as we now are, to the meat that 
perisheth, to food, shelter, providence. We have 
begun a little on some planes to organize, to asso- 
ciate and make distribution of the labors, but largely 
we are unorganized, unequipped, and are laboriously 

doing at the hardest, with muscle and nerve, what 

some day shall be taken up and performed more than 

willingly by forces that lie wild and sporting untamed 
about us. We are still in the old stone age, the 
finer metallic ages yet unborn. The whole creation 
groaneth and travaileth in pain until now, waiting 
to be delivered. The men of science to-day are 
performing, in part probably unknown to themselves, 
an important, an indispensable mission in the atten- 
tion they are calling to, and the light they are 
to bring upon, a side of human life all too much 
ignored and neglected hitherto. 

But again, taking our stand on the plane of the 
moral, we can see that great lessons are to be read 
and appropriated even now. Are we under no in- 
toxication, do we never exaggerate, put things out of 

176 BUDDHA. 

proportion, worship never the eidolon j> Are there no 
unrest, no anxieties, extravagant, illusive hope and 
inordinate pursuits? Do we always keep to the fine 
maxim, ' ' Feslina lente, " find constantly repose in our 
action here? It would seem that the intoxication 
of the quest has become so great that we have for- 
gotten ourselves, lost the meaning of our object, and 
are unable to recall our grey-hounds and pause, even 
when the chase is done and the game is brought. 
We have gotten to the goal we started to win, but 
our dizzy eyes see not that it is any goal. Life is 
full of these oblivions, ends forgotten and ignored 
even when they have come into our hands. There 
need stern admonitions here, even though they should 
come by the severe surgery of excision, utter renun- 
ciation. All are too much imprisoned, excited and 
absorbed. We are cumbered with much serving. There 
must be peace, ceasing from care and solicitudes, the 
harrying of unrest. The kingdom of deliverance we 
must enter now. 

The design seems in our present condition to be 
largely discipline, and through that, strength. The 
creature was born subject to vanity, to limitations 
and illusions, that he might attain, gain rest by 
effort, acquisition, and also by renunciation. Freedom 
we are to find in the midst of our shackles, break- 
ing many, and of others discovering how insignificant 


they are, how little, indeed naught, they needs must 
hamper us. There appears but one door to the 
upper realm, and that is exertion and conquest. It 
seems the fiat of fate, covering all the future possi- 
bilities, that man can enjoy only as he shall have 
earned; he must do, to be able to enter into rest. 
In high sense, too, the enjoying is the earning, 
and the resting the working. In the present stage 
and under the present relations, there may be en- 
franchisement, peace ; who shall say they may not be 
perfect? Certainly there is great enlargement and 
repose in learning what we may do without, where 
we may enter upon inner substance, and find mean- 
ings and nourishment we had never suspected before. 
Man thus becomes a sovereign ; though he seems a 
bondsman, a manacled slave, he is possessor and 
lord of all. The two spheres of life so interlap, or 
rather meet, unite, and run together without seam 
or suture, their mingling is so perfect, that it is not 
easy often to determine where the passive virtues 
properly end, and the active begin, or vice versa. 
The attainment of this were the perfect knowledge, 
making the supreme haven. The one side or the 
other comes more prominently to view in the various 
relations, and yet both are involved in every rela- 
tion, and in the performance of every act. Devotion 
and surrender, pursuit on the one side, yielding up 

178 BUDDHA. 

on the other, is the necessity of every hour. To* 
have the flow perfect, the liberty and the allegiance 
absolute, no division and no unrest in the soul, but 
unbroken peace this is the art of arts. 

In the large, the problem before us is a very 
broad and far-reaching one, for it involves the con- 
sideration of the mysteries, the reconciliation of eter- 
nity and time. What we have touched upon is but 
one phase, and the more obvious and almost super- 
ficial, of our great question. How shall we recon- 
cile, how eliminate the inferior factor, or rather 
sublimate and absorb it, pouring it for exaltation 
and strength even, into the higher? How blend the 
two spheres, and put the outer and the seen per- 
fectly into the unseen? Toiling ages work upon it, 
yet it goes unanswered, unsolved forever. 

" A rampart breach is every day 
Which many mortals are storming, 
Fall in the gap who may, 
Of the slain no heap is forming." 

The question remains, the subtle riddle of phi- 
losophy, the hidden, inaccessible mystery of being. 
Patent and radiant to all, quenching every other 
sight and fact, and yet so transcendent it will not 
be found or touched. No sage or seer has yet 
offered us any elucidation. We catechise all mas- 
ters, none has framed answer; little hints touching 


some rim or remote edge of our question, pregnant 
intimations of the direction in which alone the true 

discovery may be found these are all that the wealth 
of any history can give us. The true elucidator, 
solver, would be a sage far wiser than Plato, a saint 
higher, diviner than Jesus. But it is idle to specu- 
late, ungracious to seem even to complain that we 
have not received the impossible. Such prerogative 
cannot be delegated for any soul to another. All 
that can be given is feeble hint, dim, distant inti- 
mation of this unseen, this one 

' Unspeakable, who sits above these heavens, 
To us invisible, or dimly seen, 
In these his lower works.' 

One or another in the long ages has read a note 
in this celestial music, has deciphered a syllable or 
two in this scripture of untold wisdom. But the 
reader ' that shall penetrate and translate it all, ren- 
dering into our vernacular, the performer that shall 
bring to our ears the divine harmonies, the eternal 
anthem of the heavens the generations wait him 
evermore in vain. Not Jews only, but mankind, 
look for such Messias that should come. "'My 
religion," said Lao Tsze, so wisely, "consists in 
thinking the inconceivable' thought, in going the 
impassable way in speaking the ineffable word, in 
doing the impossible thing." 


The attainment lying in character, the approxi- 
mations must be very partial, remote with the best. 
The wisest among us outgrow the illusions but very 
gradually. The intoxications have affected all heads, 
the dark Lethe waters have been drunk by all, and 
we are smitten with forgetfulness, not so much of 
the life in time, but of the life in eternity. We 
outgrow, one after another, our day dreams and 
exaggerations, and get our feet upon the more solid 
ground, see things in their proportion. But hardly 
at all do we find any ultimate ; world opens within 
world continually, and there is ever the transcendent 
and beyond. Oldest and wisest are but children of 
a larger growth, and as to-day we look back upon 
the illusions of the early years, wondering the intoxi- 
cations could have been so easy and complete, so, 
erewhile, we shall doubtless recur with the same 
surprise to the dreams and enchantments of our 
seemingly now adult life. Are we not all in the 
stages of childhood, all undergoing, frequently enough 
with much pain, the processes of birth, and the eyes 
widest seeing not yet ripened to good vision ? 

What humility and what patience with all others 
we ought to learn in this view ! Pythagoras said, 
''Esteem it a great part of a good education, to be 
able to bear with the want of it in others." Prob- 
ably at the end, or rather in the beyond, we shall 


find that we have continued throughout idolaters, 
inebriated, exaggerating our own life even, worshiping 
unduly what has seemed essential condition to all 
existence and possession. It also shall be seen 
unessential, but an incident, not vitally touching the 
inner elements of cur being. 

And within that great illusion, how many minor 
illusions find place, and bear us captive continually. 
So instinctively the heart fastens here and there, 
and regards a thing as vital and follows it, or, balked 
and thwarted, grieves over the disappointment, forget- 
ting the Nirvana, forgetting that the resources of the 
universe are infinite, and that to the real soul there 
can come no loss, no sorrow. Our occupations, 
our life designs, how inseparable from the absolute 
ends they seem to us, how we cling to and invest 
in them, how we are pained or disheartened by their 
interruption or disappointment ! Passes there a day 
with any of us in which the sun does not undergo 
some partial obscuration, in which we are not dazed 
or drugged and lost in forgetfulness ? The reality 
is a Proteus, taking infinity of shapes and no shape, 
ever eluding and beckoning on. 

Circumstance is made indifferent, the infinite pos- 
sibilities all. Art thou called being a slave, said 
Paul, care not for it. We must not be thwarted, 
not affected even, by our incidents, must hold to the 

1 82 BUDDHA. 

purpose, must execute the purpose, visibly, or at 
least inwardly, in spite of every untoward surrounding. 
It is high attainment so to dwell in perfect poise, 
that there shall come no ruffling or unrest, befall 
what may. You pursue your thought; the aim is 
noble, commanding. It is pleasant that the visitors 
come, that the inspirations flow and the mind 
be filled, illumined, propelled as by sovereign, all- 
mastering power. But the visitors may not come, 
the mind sit barren, uninspired, and the hour sacredly 
dedicated, yield nothing. To dwell in repose there 
also, to rest where you cannot act, acquiesce where 
you cannot obtain, feel content and assured even 
there, satisfied that this also is well, is best it needs 
strength, self-command for that. 

It helps' us on in our way, to extend the period, 
to fix our thought on the perennial. We need to 
lengthen out the perspective. We see that things 
are not what they seem, that a larger range reduces 
them more into just proportions. Past will bloom 
still present, present fades, and beams in its inner 
realities alone upon us as past, future comes present, 
and we dwell in the eternal now. Hardly can we 
be pierced by any sorrow, for in the world we inhabit 
death and bereavement cannot enter. We cannot be 
affected by any ebriety, for the waters have been 
purged of all their intoxicating qualities. 


The doctrine of fate also has its uses. It is well 
tfo remember that what is best, will be. There is 
election, a decree from the foundation of the world, 
; and come what will, try what may, I shall doubtless 
have and find what I was destined for. Nothing 
,can pluck out of that hand. Unsatisfactory occu- 
pation, absorbing, uncongenial business engrossment, 
place seeming not the right one for the capacity, 
not congruous or friendly, surroundings and position 
all awry these cannot thwart or prevent that the 
actual destiny be realized. All can be transmuted, 
-and made not hindrances, but . doorways and aids to 
help us on to God. And it is probable that at the 
end, all our life will be seen to have been presided 
over by a beneficent fate. All will have been spent 
amid disappointments and also surprises, we seeming 
to ourselves to be habitually balked of our wishes, 
consigned and compelled to work and experiences not 
chosen, not grateful, praying sometimes that this cup 
may pass from -us, to awaken at length to see that he 
whom we sought was in this place, but we knew it 
not, that the great possession was always accessible, 
at hand, and that whatever we have failed to realize 
was by our own fault, aye, that we have been led 
by a way that we knew not, and have realized, have 
plucked wisdom and felicity more than we thought 
.or imagined at the time. So the kingdom of the 

1 84 BUDDHA. 

skies is patent to all, and every relation, however 

humble or hard with trial, permits, nay, favors, 
nay, effects, the growth of the heavenly fruits and 

Doubtless, a considerable part of our embarrass- 
ment has its ground in our constitution, the very 
conditions of our being. We are in limits, are our- 
selves limited. The desires, the dissatisfactions we 
feel, come essentially not of this or that particular 
type of circumstance, any special trammel or hamper 
of condition, but of our nature. These thirsts within 
us are to be slaked in the infinite ocean alone. 
While we are short of that, there will always be some 
sense of lack or pain. We are not greatly to blame 
any special condition we are in, for what belongs 
essentially to finitude. Withal we must surrender 
and renounce at some points, or we cannot realize 
anywhere. Life requires a concentration; it is a 
spark, a focal point, a determinate aim. This is 
one of the essential laws or terms of a personal 
existence. The high art is to adjust one's self finely 
to the possibilities, to yield what cannot be kept and 
carried, and have the perfect peace still unbroken. 
When we have taken survey and entered upon devo- 
tion to all our possible, when we have surrendered 
without pain, with alacrity and solemn joy, whatever 
is impracticable or not commanding or worthy, and 


withal wed ourselves to interest and action then 
we take our inheritance and enter into life. 

There shall be no abdication of the normal rela- 
tions. The thing sought shall be appropriation, 
absorbing and exalting all the lower into the higher. 
We do not want negation. Nothing normal must 
be dropped or lost. The gospel of renunciation has 
been preached powerfully enough in our own time 
by Thoreau. None could urge its claims w r ith more 
eloquence and force than he. Earlier ages have 
witnessed like confessors adjuring to forsake and re- 
nounce, bearing their testimony against dwelling and 
mingling in a world unworthy. It has been a 
weighty, an indispensable word. It has admonished 
of things much neglected and to which all should 
take heed. It has reminded us of our excesses and 
our bondage. But the world to-day needs more and 
larger, the inclusive affirmation. It looks for the 
synthesis, the great reconciliation. This is the at- 
one-ment for which the ages have been preparing, 
^ons of time, untold centuries of endeavor, of 
sacrifice and suffering, are cheap that might ripen a 
period for its advent, its realization. 

Partial as it is, the past is pregnant with hint 
and needed incitement. There are fingers all along 
in history that point the way. There have been 


1 86 BUDDHA. 

incarnations, souls in flesh that have brought the 
heavens to the earth, and constrained men to say, 
"Immanuel, God with us." How gladly would we 
listen to the faintest word from Buddha, from Jesus, , 
showing that he too had weighed the vast problem, 
and held some careful conclusions thereon, that he 
had wrought upon it, and *reached a never so remote 
approximation ! Very deep is the debt we owe to 
the Oriental, particularly the Indian thinkers and 
dreamers, those men who in the old days so essayed 
to solve the deep riddle, sought to withdraw and 
emancipate themselves, retiring from the world, from 
the body, from the very life even, that they might 
gaze purely upon being. The old sages pierced 
through form and spectacle, saw the sea of illusion, 
Maya and all things floating thereon, a very mirage 
in the desert. They sought to penetrate to sub- 
stance, to reach the within of all the within, to rest 
in formless and unchanging. They sought to trans- 
cend, to read all in the permanent relation, nothing 
iin the transient, to dwell in the everlasting now. 
There is no second example like it ; never has the 
ihuman mind so divested itself and soared in the 
'ether, in the heavenly spaces, and out of space and 
beyond time, as in India. This also was needed as 
a protest, a check and counterpoise to the intense 
sensuousness, the devotion to outer objects and en- 


joyments, of the multitudes of mankind. It was 
needed to proclaim the presence and power of the 
ethereal, the heavenly, amid all the noise, glare and 
bewitchment of the earthly. The Greek thought was 
brother, born of the same womb, later in its appear- 
ance, more realistic, cognizant of form and the time 
determinations, but in the great brains like Pythag- 
oras, Parmenides, Plato, hardly less sublime in its 
aerial flights. 

Born in that royal line was Gautama. He came 
with this heritage, his nerves thrilled to the infinite. 
True it was of him, as the biographer says of 
Giordano Bruno, "penetrated with consciousness of 
eternity." His soul soared into the everlasting, his 
;heart beat to beauty and to love, his thought flowed 
into poetry, into anthems of song. He was so in- 
toxicated with changeless and eternal, he forgot time 
.and all of life here save the ethical law. Say if 
you will he was a short-coming, it was a lack-lustre 
landscape, a dreary blank, it was celebration of re- 
nunciation ; criticise the limitations, the marked 
defects we will confess it all ; but he was a glori- 
ous accomplishment. His affirmation was love, 
self-surrender and self-sacrifice utter and absolute; he 
emphasized it so he lost all thought of person or 
-of any determinate condition. 

If he failed to realize and complete the work, 

1 88 BUDDHA. 

he stands by no means alone in that. Other pro- 
phets have fought to win the prize, have struggled 
to achieve, to rend the vail of the mystery, to elu- 
cidate and solve to complete and final demonstration. 
If he failed, we may remember the nature of the 
task, and consider that mortal can by no possibility 
here prevail. The inscription upon the Isiac image 
at Sais holds true evermore: "I am all that has 
been, is, and shall be, and no mortal hitherto hath 
lifted my vail." 

Placed side by side with other great masters, he 
compares not unfavorably; none wrestled more 
strongly with the problems of being, none did and 
sacrificed greater for man, none aspired more yearn- 
ingly to the goal of the infinite peace. Permanently 
the history must be regarded as another of the con- 
tributions towards solution of that, which in its own 
nature is supremely transcendent. That this prince 
of Kapilavastu, this monk of the Sakyas, so wrought 
and endeavored bravely both in action and ^suffering, 
'must also permanently entitle him to the thoughtful 
consideration and warm thanks of mankind. His 
resolute courage, his inflexible self-denial, and self- 
surrender, trampling upon every appetite and inclina- 
tion, holding all things so sacred for the soul, shall 
pique, arouse, incite and draw all hearts near this high 
person in worship and in love. He became Siddhartha 


" whose objects have been accomplished" became 
IBuddha 'whose eyes are wide opened/ and mul- 
titudes of souls warmed by this presence, shall strive 
to calm the desires and attain the anointed vision. 
Beneath the tree at Bodhimanda he saw ; long 
journey any of us might well afford to make, to 
find that tree beneath which we should become 
full awake. In the spiritual experience, we find our- 
selves to this man near of kin. Continents, cen- 
turies of time, difference of blood and race cannot 
separate us. 

But form and individual depart, all that is per- 
sonal and historic passes away. This mortal is put- 
ting on immortality, is being sublimated perpetually 
.into reality which is greater and more than it. 
"The name of Buddha is nothing but a word. 
The name of Bodhisattva is nothing but a word."* 
Signal benefactors of the race, we know not in 
what numbers, already sleep in oblivion, no one can 
.give us a vestige of their place or memory. Yet 
their work abides, the legacy goes on never to be 

" One accent of the Holy Ghost, 
The heedless world hath never lost." 

*Burnouf, Introd., p. 481; quoted from the Prajna Paramitd, 
Absolute Wisdom. 

190 BUDDHA. 

Buddha may be, perhaps is already that, a myth r 
his history a tale of the imagination, but the career 
he wrought, the hint he dropped- into the ear of the 
world, knows not death or decay. It has vitality 
with the life of God. All that is individual in 
the faith, the dispensation itself, shall wane and dis- 
appear, setting like stars from the sky, and super- 
seded by a new day, but the idea, the Nirvana, an. 
eternal thought and aspiration, more than Buddha 
or his religion, shall ever illumine and quicken. 
Men shall work upon it, be filled by it, seek its 
infinite possession, long after all the names we know 
to-day, shall have faded from the memory of the 
world. Long as the race endures, as time exists, 
as the procession of the ages goes forward, so long 
shall the soul strive and aspire, pant to escape the 
bounds of limitation, climbing the giddy heights to 
reach the goal, to see and to be the changeless and 
the everlasting. 

The growth in individual, in race, is slow, by 
very gradual and mostly imperceptible steps. The 
enlargement and exaltation come much through the 
experiences, one after another in life. These are the 
spirit flame and the water bath that set and bring 
into pronounced clearness the picture on the plate, 
the reminders that awaken remembrances of the for- 


gotten home. The attainment is something organic. 
We see as we grow, mature age, make trial. We rise 
as we do, and through doing, for here eminently faith 
operates with works, and by works is faith .made 
perfect. We catch glimpses which ripen more and 
more towards steady and clear vision. How intermit 
tingly the sun shines upon us, an instant of radiance, 
then periods of cloud and obscuration. But every 
slightest conquest tells, every step brings on, the 
sombre days also count, and the growth goes for- 
ward, much of it silent and unconscious, apparent 
only in the ulterior results. 

We may be sure that the destiny of humanity 
is onward. The advance of each individual enters 
as an organic element, advancing and exalting the 
race. Better approximations shall be made, finer 
views, finer realizations, nearer and nearer approaches 
to the infinite goal. And in ages better than ours, 
generations shall be happier born, nobler bred, with 
more transparent flesh, purer blood and clearer brain, 
to whom our words shall seem childish, coarse, our 
conceptions dim and crude, who shall see where we 
but grope, shall walk and leap where we but hobble 
and totter and fall. The great atonement, reconcil- 
iation prepared from the foundation of the world, 
shall be wrought out, and life become absolute reali- 

192 BUDDHA. 

zation. In all the experience, not a sigh of sorrow, 
not a breath of unrest, never the rising pf desire, 
no night there, perfect peace and perfect day. 

But it shall be the same road ever, same method 
of approach, all things seen in relation, lower trans- 
cended and cast aside for higher, higher still found 
intact and entire amid all lowliest and poorest at- 
tainment, surrender pursuit, repose time, eternity 
till the goal which is beyond all goals is reached, 
conflict lost, aye, consummated in conquest, and the 
grave itself swallowed up in victory. The same 
reality and revelation ever seen, unseen, blending, 
dividing, blending ascending, flowing, soaring onward 
without end. 


Abaris, 44. 

Ajatasatru, a king of Magadha, 46. 

Akbar, 64 Note. 

Absorptions, the material, 166, 171 seq. 

Active and passive unite, meet, mingle, 

Admissson of females to monastic orders, 

Age of Buddha when married, 17. 

" Buddha at time of his flight, 24. 
" Buddha at time of his death, 48. 
" the oldest of the Vedas, 170 Note. 
Alexander, 64, 65. 
Alexandria, 49, 50. 
Alger, Rev, W. R. 119, 120. 
Ananda, cousin of Buddha, 42* 48, 49, 

50, 51, 100. 
Anatha Pindika, 41. 
Apsaras, 31. 
Arata Kalama, 25,27. 
Art of arts, 177, seq., 184. 
Asoka, a king of India, 52, 60, 61, 62, 

63, 79 Note, 96, 

Asoka, extracts from his edicts, 68, 69. 
Anuradhapura, 62. 
Annula, 61. 

Ayushmat (Master), 37. 
Atheism charged against Buddhism, 132. 
Abhidharma, by-law, 66 Note, 122*- 

Bangkok, 71, 

Basita, 140. 

Bastian, 76, 77, 141. 

Bhagavat, 95, 107, 146. 

Brahma, 15, 80 Note, 81 Note, 91, 136. 

Brahmana, 118, 119, 139. 

Brahmans, 16, 25, 32, 38, 40, 44, 45, 56, 

57, 64 Note, 69, 80, 83, 93. 
Brahmanyang, 136. 
Branch of the Bo-tree sent to Ceylon, 61 

Beal, Samuel, 50 Note, 53 Note, 54 Note, 

65. 77> 84 Note, 104, 105, 121, 123 seq., 

Beal, his characterization of Buddhism, 

Beal, his opinion in regard to Buddha's 

descent, 13 Note. 
Behar, 26. 

Benares, 25, 36, 37, 38, 40. 
Berghaus, 9 Note. 

Bigandet, Bishop P., 9 Note, 12 Note, 
23 Note, 24, 34 Note, 47 Note, 50 
Note, 53 Note, 72. 

Bhikshu (mendicant), 20, 67, 112, 117, 
118, 139. 

Bhilsa Topes, 25 Note. 

Bimbisara, a king of Magadha, 26, 36, 

4. 53- 

Birmah, 9, 72, 141. 
Birmese, effect of Buddhism upon the, 

70 seq. 

Bo-tree (at Bodhimanda), 34, 61,119,189. 
Bddhi, 29, 33, 62. 
Bodhisattva, 31, 189. 
Bodhimanda, 34, 61, no. 189. 
Bowring, Sir John, 75 Note. 
Buddha, his birth and early childhood, 

ii seq. 
" his inclination to retirement, 15 

" his gifts and feats in early life, 

i,- 15 ' 17 '- 

his marriage, 17. 

" his experiences, 19, 20. 

' his farewell to family and 
court, 23. 

" his flight and residence in the 
wilderness, 23 seq. 

" his- reception by Brahmans, 25 

" his conflicts, 27 seq. 

" his illumination and perfect en- 
franchisement, 32 seq. 

" his momentary hesitation in re- 
gard to his work, 35. 

" his resolution to devote him- 
self to humanity, 36 seq. 

" his preachings, journeyings, 
etc., 37 seq. 

" his sending forth of the apos- 
tles, 39. 
his death, 48 seq. 

" his instructions to his disciples, 
39, 50, 51. 

" his blessing upon the Brahman 
and his wife, the weaver's 
daughter, etc., 45, 46. 

" obsequies of, 51, 52. 

" accounts of his personnel, 2 5, 
52, 53. 

" preaching first employed by, 55. 



Buddha proclaimed the equality of all, 
56, 57- 

" his spiritual ancestry, 80. 

" his Sublime Verities, 84. 

" his ethical code, 86 seq. 

" his births, 90. 

" emphasized the domestic du- 
ties, 90 seq. 

" relied solely upon the moral 

element, 93. 
his method affirmative, 94. 

" uses parables, 106 seq. 

" his system of morality, 130. 

" in the current theological sense 
an a theist, 132. 

" made no impersonation of God, 

133. 149- 
dwelt on the supreme verities, 

I 33- 
" meaning of Nirvana in his 

mind, 137, seq. 

" seems nihilistic because so pure- 
ly spiritualistic, 138. 
" sighted the goal, 148. 
" ptrhaps did not sufficiently 
draw the affirmations, 148 

" toiled and wrestled upon the 
mystery of existence, 149 
Buddhagosha's Parables, 86 Note, 101, 

no Note, 
Buddhism, its early propagation, 58 seq! 

expelled from India, 64. 
" its influence upon the West- 

ern world, 64 seq, 
" its speculations, 66. 

" its pacific, gentle character, 

67 seq. 

" its amelioration of the condi- 

tion of woman, 72. 
" introduced into Cashmire.sS. 

" into Ceylon, 58, 60 


China, 58 seq. 
Japan, 59, 
Corea, 59. 
Thibet, 58,63. 
Farther India, 


its fortunes in India, 63 seq. 
penetrated into Persia, 59. 
propagated among the Tar- 
tar tribes, 59. 
effects of upon the Siamese, 

effects of upon the Thibetans, 
70, 72. 

its defects come of its great- 
ness, 151. 

Buddhism made iis grave mistake in 
withdrawal and renuncia- 
tion, 161. 
Buddhistic monasteries, 9, 59. 

" authors have written against 

caste, 72. 

" Canon, 79 Note, 109, 122. 

" Free Churches^in Siam, 75. 
" nihilism, 137 seq. 
" disparagement of the world 

of time, 151. 
Buddhists, number of on the globe, 9 


Bunsen, Baron, 49 Note, 170 Note. 
Burnouf, Eugene, 53 Note, 55, 88, 91, 

96, loo Note, 179 Note. 
Bruno, Giordano, 147, 161. 187 

Cabul, 58, 59. 

Canon, Buddhistic, 79 Note, icg, 120, 

121, 122, 152. 

Cashmire, 12, 58. 

Chadwick, Rev. John W., 102, 103. 

Chakravarttins (Wheel Kings), i3~Note, 

5 2 - 

Channiug, Rev. W. H., 77 Note. 
Ceylon, 9, 58, 60, 62, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 

92, 101, 115, 127. 
Ceylon Friend, 109. 
China, 9, 58, 59, 67, 122, 123, 146. 
Christianity, 75, 76. 
Confucius, 14, 149 Note. 
Corea, 59. 
Cousin, Victor, 137. 
Csoma de Kerb's, 85. 
Cunningham, Major A. ,25 Note, 64 Note. 

Dandapani, father Buddha's wife, 16, 17. 

Dante, 65. 

Date of Buddha's birth, 12. 

" " " death, 12, 49. 

" " the first Council, 79 Note, 84. 

" " " third Council, 58. 
Dhammapadam, 109 seq., 119, 121, 122, 

139 seq. 

Debt we owe the Indian thinkers, 186. 
Deliverance by devotion, conquest, 158 

seq., 162, 177. 
Departure of Buddha on the night after 

the birth of his child, 23 Note. 
Destiny of humanity onward, 191. 
Devadatta, a cousin of Buddha, 46. 
Devanampiyatissa, a king of Ceylon, 60. 
Dharma, 121. 
Discrimination and selection in our work 

fitting, 159 seq. 

Discipline, a design in our present con- 
dition, 176 seq. 

Disparagement of all things of time in 
Buddhism, 151. 


Distinguish, while we cannot separate, 


Doctrine of fate has its uses, 183 seq. 
Do or die, 157. 

Dushtagamini, a king of Ceylon, 69. 
Dhyana, 141 seq. 

Edkins, Mr., 122 Note. 
Ethical code of Buddha, 86. 
Expulsion of Buddhism from India, 64. 

Fahian, 58. 

Fate and destiny in the present condi- 
tion of society, 173. 

Fausboll, Dr., Note 109, no. 

Fergusson, James, 13 Note, 24 Note, 31 

Fichte, 66 Note. 

Fo worship in Chinese, 77. 

FoeKoueKi, 88 Note. 

Gandharva, 114. 

Ganges, 41, 48. 

Gatha, 104. 

Gautama (Buddha), n, 17, 21, 23, 24, 

25, 27, 31, 32, 37, 119, 187. 
Greek thought brother to the Hindu, 

m 8 /- 

Gogerly, D. J., 109, no. 
Gopa, the wife of Buddha, 16, 17, 21, 24, 
42 seq. 

Habitude, the power of, 167. 

Hardy, Spence, Eastern Monachism, 23 
Note, 53 Note, 63 Note, 93, 115, 120, 
121, 122, 128, 132, 136, 143 seq. 

Hardy, Spence, Legends and Theories, 
J 7f 33> 34- 53 Note, 64 Note, 72 Note. 

Haart Sutra, in Chinese, 84 Not, 

Heraclitus, 14. 

Herder, J. G., 162. 

Hermes Trismegistus, 134. 

Himalas, 58, 

Himavat (Himalaya), 3.4, 15. 

Hiouen Thsang, 24, 34, 41, 43. 

Hue, Abbe, 76. 

Humility emphasized by Buddha, 88. 

Idealism, in the Buddhistic specula- 
tions, 66 Note. 

Indra, 15, 136, 169. 

India, n, 13 Note, 43, 52, 55, 63, 65, 67, 

India, fortunes of Buddhism in, 63 seq. 

India (Farther), 58, 67. 

Isaic inscription, 188. 

Intoxications in life, 176. 

Illusions, 1 80 seq. 

Japan, 9, 59. 

Jesus, in comparison with Buddha, 130 


Johnson, Samuel, Preface, 6, 69 Note. 
Josaphat, 65. 

Kalantaka, 41. 

Kalpa, 21 Note. 

Kandala, 38, 56, 57 Note, 97, 101. 

Kandragupta, 69. 

Kanishka, 58, 79 Note. 

Kanjur, 122. 

Kantaka, 24. 

Kapila, city of, 33, 

Kapilavastu, 12, 23, 42, 68. 188. 

Karma, Law of retribution, 88 seq., 

^ 6 - 
Kasyapa, 40, 52. 

Katyayana, 41. 

Kshatriyas, 16, 57. 

Kwan Yin, 77. 

Kisagotami, 101 seq. 

Koeppen (Die Religion des Buddha), 9 
Note, 12 Note, 22 Note, 48 Note, 50 
Note, 53 Note, 56 Note, 57 Note, 58 
Note, 59 Note, 60 Note, 63 Note, 68 
Note, 72 Note, 73 Note, 75 Note, 88, 
109 Note, 122 Note. 

K6sala, 40, 41, 44, 46, 48, 146. 

Koti, 90. 

Kublai-Khan, 76. 

Kunala, 96 seq. 

Kusinagara, 48. 

Lalita Vistara (Life of Buddha), 54 Note. 

Lama, 63, 76. 

Lanka (Ceylon), 60 Note. 

Lao Tsze, 14, 149 Note, 179. 

Law, Buddha's, "a law of grace for all," 


Lhassa, 63 Note, 76. 
Le Sage et Le Fou, 88 Note. 
Leonowens, Mrs., 73 seq., 86 Note, 128 


Life, a conflict, 157 seq. 
Lob Nor, 59. 
Lotus of the Good Law, 106 seq., 127 

Lumbini, 15, 19, 81. 

Magadha, 26, 40, 41, 58. 
Mahamega, 62. 
Mahavansa, 60 Note. 
Mahinda, son of Asoka, 60 seq. 
Malla princes, 49. 

Manual for the Shaman, 103 seq. 
Mara, 22 Note, 28, 29, 114, 116. 
Marco Polo, 65. 
Matangi, 100. 
Mathura, 98, 99. 



Maudgaliputra, 60 Note. 

Maudgalyayana, 48. 

Maya (illusion), 13. 

Mayadevi, mother of Buddha, 13, 15, 
28, 29. 

Megasthenes. 69. 

Messias, awaited still, 179. 

Milinda, dialogue between and Naga- 
sena, 143 seq. 

Milinda Prasna, 143 Note. 

Ming-ti, emperor, 58. 

Miraculous conception in case of Bud- 
dha, 13. 

Mission of science, 175. 

Missionary spirit of the early Bud- 
dhists, 57 seq. 

Modern Buddhist, 136 seq, 

Monasteries, 41, 42, 59. 

Mongolia, 9, 67, 73. 

Mongolian prayer, 78. 

Mongolians, effect of Buddhism upon, 
69 seq. 

Morality, Buddhistic system of, 130 seq. 

Morality, natural, better observed in 
Buddhistic countries than elsewhere 
in the East, 71. 

Muller, Max, 12, 21 Note, 57 Note, 68, 
80, loi, no, 170 Note. 

Nagas, 50, 62. 

Nagasena, 143 seq. 

Nalanda, 41. 

Name of Buddha nothing but a word, 

Nepal, 122, 

Neumann, Prof., 9 Note, 70. 

New Testament, 153. 

Buddhist precepts not 
below standard, no, 

Nigban (Nirvana), as defined in Bir- 
mah. 141. 

Nilajan, 27 Note. 

Nirvana, 27, 33, 34, 45, 50, 83, 84, 87, 
89, 96, 102, 107, 112, 113, 116, 117, 120, 
132, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 
144, 145, 146, 147, 150, 158, 181, 190. 

Nir'ana, its proper purport and mean- 
ing in mind of Buddha, 137 seq. 

Nirvana, as defined by the Chinese, 
Birmese, etc., 140 seq. 

Nirvana, the abode beyond all abodes, 
147 seq. 

Nirvana is possession, 158. 

Old Testament, passages from, 153. 

Oriental poetry, Alger's, 119, 

Oude, n. 

Our embarassments lie considerably in 

our condition, 184. 
Outer, related ever to inner, 164. 

Palasa flower, 50. 

Pali, Buddhist scriptures written in, 109 
Note, 122. 

Palibothra, 69. 

Papiyan, 28, 30, 31. 

Parmenides, 187. 

Parsva, a lyric poet, 58- 

Patna, 26 Note, 48 Note. 

Plato, 187. 

Phalgu, 27 Note. 

Platonists, New, 66 Note, 

Prajapati, an aunt of Buddha, 13,42, 44. 

Prajna Paramita, 50 Note, 84 Note, 132 
Note, 189. 

Prasenajit, a king of Kosala, 41, 88. 

Prayer of to-day, 170 seq. 

Peking, 59, 122. 

Persia, 59. 

Preaching unknown in India before 
Buddha's time, 55. 

Presence of Divinity, 155. 

Polyandry, 73. 

Polygamy, 72 seq. 

Prodigies attending the birth of Bud- 
dha, 14, 

Prodigies attending the illumination of 
Buddha, 33. 

Propagation of Buddhism, 58 seq. 

Puma, 94 seq. 

Pushya, 23. 

Pythagoras, 14, 156, 180, 187. 

Question of questions, 163 seq., 169. 

Rahan, 46, 51. 

Rahula, son of Buddha, 23 Note, 42. 

Rajagriha, 26, 27, 32, 36, 40, 41, 48. 

Rathapala, 100, 116. 

Reconciliation of eternity and time, 178. 

Regent of Lhassa, 76. 

Relics of Buddha distributed over India, 


Renunciation of Buddhism, 151 seq. 
Repose and possession, 168, 181 seq. 
Rishya Rakshita, 96 
Rome, 65. 
Rhodias, 101. 
Rudraka, 27. 
Rules for the priests, 92 seq. , 103 seq. 

Sacraments, o r Life, 106. 

Sacred records of the Buddhists pre- 
served essentially unchanged, 54 Note. 

St. Hilaire, Barthelemy, 34, 53 Note, 56 
Note, 91, 92, 96. 

Sakwalas (systems of worlds), 33. 

Sakya-Muni, n, 24, 47, 65, 67, 131. 

Sakyas, 12, 16, 17, 22, 42, 61, 188. 

Sala tree (shorea robusta), 49, 143, 

Samanyang. 136, 1^7 



Sanchi, 13 Note, 31 Note, 
Sanghamitta, daughter of Asoka, 62. 
Sanscrit, Buddhist scriptures written in, 

109 Note, 122. 
Sanputra, 41. 
Sassanidae, 59. 
Sautrantikas, 66 Note. 
Savatthi, 102. 
Shaman, 103, 104, 126. 
Shamanism, 63. 
Sramana, 29, 69. 
Sravasti, 40, 95. 
State of society in India when Buddha 

appeared, 56 Note. 
Seleucus Nicator, 69. 
Sending forth of the Apostles, 39. 
Siam, 72, 73, 74, 75, 86 Note. 
Siam, common maxims of the priests in, 

128 seq. 
Siamese, effects of Buddhism upon, 70 

Siamese minister, extract (from Modern 

Buddhist), 136 seq. 
Siddhartha, 188. 
Sivaism, 63. 
Scriptures, Buddhistic, quotations from, 

no seq., 123 seq., 139 seq. 
Scriptures, Jewish, quotations from, 153. 
Spinoza, 147. 
School reading-book in Ceylon, extracts 

from, 128. 
Sronaparanta, 95. 
Suhhadra, 49. 

Sublime Verities, Buddha's, 84. 
Success of Buddha's preaching, 55. 
Suddhodana, father of Buddha, 12, 14, 

22, 26, 42, 44, 48, 90. 
Sudras, 16, 57. 

Sutras, 66 Note, 79, 85, 106, 122. 
Sutra of Forty- two Sections, 123 seq. 
Sutras in Chinese, quoted upon mean- 
ing of Nirvana, 140. 

Tanjur, 58, 122. 

Tartar tribes, Buddhism propagated 

among, 59. 
Tartary, 72, 76. 

Tathagata, 50 Note, 85, 107, 116. 
Tchandaka, a servant of Buddha, 22, 24. 
Tcharka, 42. 
Thales, 14. 

Tragedies in life, 174. 

Transmigration, doctrine of, "89 seq. 

Temptations in the wilderness, 29 seq. 

Theen Tai, 133 Note. 

The phenomenal real, 154. 

Thibet, 9, 58, 63, 67, 72, 73, 76, 122. 

Thibetans, effect of Buddhism upon, 70, 


Tripitakas, 121. 
Topes, 9, 52. 
Thoreau, H. D., 185. 
Throne of Diamond, 48. 
Turkistan, 123 Note. 
Tushita, 28. 

Ugalimala, 46. 

Upagupta, 98 seq. 

Upanishads, 80 Note, 81 Note, "112 

Uruvilva, 27, 40. 

Vaibhaschikas, 66 Note. 
Vaisali, 25, 26, 36, 48. 
Vaisyas, 16, 57. 
Varanasi (Benares), 36. 
Vasavadatta, 98 seq. 
Vassika- plant, 117. 
Vedic Hymns, 169 seq. 
Vehicle, Great, 66 Note, 132 Note. 
Little, 66 Note. 123 Note. 
Viharas (monasteries), 9. 
Vinaya, morality, 122. 
Virudhaka, 47. 
Visvamitra, a teacher of Buddha, 15. 

Wasana, a Rishi, 127. 
Wasseljew, W., Buddhismus, 


asseljew, VV., rJuddnismus, 53 Aote, 

55 Note, 58 Note, 59 Note, 66 Note, 

121 Note, 123 Note. 
Wheel of the Law, 38. 
Wisudhi Margga Sanne, 93 Note. 
Wong-Puh, 54 Note. 
Wuttke, Geschichte des Heidenthums, 


Xenophanes, 14. 
Yasodhara, 42. 
Zoroaster, 156. 


On p. 49, second line from bottom, read " so as almost to cover it." 
" 56, first line, put pause (comma) after " quickening." 
" 70, second line from bottom, erase " the " before " every revenge." 
" 122, the order of the foot notes should be reversed, and the reference 
mark against the second foot note (that now stands first) should correspond to the 
second reference mark in the text. A similar error in respect to reference marks 
occurs on next page (123). 


TO ^ 202 Main Library 


r 2 






Renewals and Recharges may be made 4 days prior to the due date. 

Books may be Renewed by calling 642-3405. 


f r v * ft 100C 

Sfr > ""D 

^comniN DE